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Ho<w dance parties, politics, prison, even porn shops, turn new immigrants into New Yorkers.



Brownfields of Schemes

S O they're not as glamorous as tax code reform-brownfields ought to be a hot issue in Albany this year. More than 30 other states have passed some kind of legislation making it easier to clean up and build on mildly polluted former

industrial land, space that is badly needed both to revitalize urban areas and to counter relentless suburban sprawl. Such help is desperately needed all over New York City and in the upstate Rust Belt, where abandoned factories lie fallow, pro- viding neither jobs, nor open space, nor housing-just monuments to how little we as a society care about the communities that host them. Leave it to Albany to muck up what should be a no-brainer. After months of pleading, negotiation and inside dealmaking on one side (community-based envi- ronmentalists and deve lopers) or the other (establishment environmental groups in unlikely alliance with liability-obsessed business interests), the proposals Governor George Pataki is pushing in the state budget will likely do little to change the shape of neighborhoods. At the heart of his plans is a $12 million fund for tax credits, deductions that builders could take to offset the cost of environmental cleanup. The governor's proposal also provides cash for towns and cities to do their own cleanup, and even room for limited input from residents who live near development sites. What it doesn't do, though, is provide incentives for developers to change

their habits. With such a humble plan in the offing, you'd never know that a group of environ- mentalists, community developers, bankers, builders and lawyers conferred and compromised to adopt a proposal-one that takes advantage of the lessons learned from other states' successes and screw-ups. The group, called the Brownfields

Coalition, proposes a loan fund (and tax credits) for cleanup, and its bill releases property buyers from having to pay to clean up old pollution. Other provisions link

the required level of clean-up to on the eventual use of a site-the max for

a day-

care center, less for a cement plant-and provide grants to help cities and commu- nity-based organizations plan recreational and other projects. On the whole, it pro-

of affordable incentives to clean and green areas that need it.

The group is currently courting sponsors for its bill. Now all they have to do is get past Joseph Brodsky, who chairs the Assembly environmental committee and insists that New York State must make sure businesses, not taxpayers,foot the bill for environ- mental cleanup. Brodsky does need to push businesses to pay their fair share. But that shouldn't stop him and the rest of the legislature from passing an effective brownfields bill, which will serve as a mandate for getting the private sector to pony up-and will be worth every penny we spend on it.

vides a lot

up-and will be worth every penny we spend on it. vides a lot Alyssa Katz Editor

Alyssa Katz


Cover photo by Joshua Zuckerman

City Limits relies on the generous support of its readers and advertisers. as well as the following funders : The Adco Foundation. The Robert Sterling Clark Foundation. The Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock. The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. The Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation. The Scherman Foundation. The Hite Foundation. J.P. Morgan & Co. I ncorporated. The Annie E. Casey Foundation. The New York Community Trust. The New York Foundation. The Taconic Foundation. Deutsche Bank. M&T Bank. Citibank. and Chase Manhattan Bank.

City Limits

Volume XXV Number 4

City Limits is published ten times per year. monthly except bi-monthly issues in July/August and September/October. by the City Limits Community Information Service. Inc.•a non- profit organization devoted to disseminating information concerning neighborhood revitalization.

Publisher: Kim Nauer

Ed ito r:

Alyssa Katz

Seni or

Ed it or : Kathleen McGowan

Assoc i ate Ed itors : Annia Ciezadlo. Jill Grossman (actingI

Contr ibuti ng

Editors: James Bradley. Wendy Davis. Michael Hirsch

Intern: Laura Ciechanowski

Design Directi on: Hope Forstenzer

Publ isher's Assistant: Anita Gutierrez

Proofreader: Sandy Socolar

Photog ra phers : Gregory P. Mango . Spencer Platt . Joshua Zuckerman

Center for an Urban Future:

Directo r: Neil

Re sea r ch Directo r: Jonathan Bowles

Family Desk Director: Shalini Ahuja

Board of Directors':

Beverly Cheuvront. New York City Coalition Against Hunger Ken Emerson Mark Winston Griffith. Central Brooklyn Partnership Amber Hewins. Granta Celia Irvine. Manhattan Borough President's Office Francine Justa. Neighborhood Housing Services Andrew Reicher. UHAB Tom Robbins. Journalist Makani Themba-Nixon. GRIPP Pete Williams. National Urban League


"Affiliations for identification only.


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FEATURES Points of Entry Arriving in America by accident or design, New York's newest residents
Points of Entry
Arriving in America by accident or design, New York's newest residents
can count on only a few things for sure: Paperwork. Prison, for some.
And the well-worn path to finding a job, a place to live and a home.
Once they open doors, immigrants find their work has just begun.
In Sri Lanka, Tamils and Sinhala were at war. In Staten
Island, their conflict comes down to sex and money.
By N. F. P. Fe rn andes
The Garifuna survived enslavement, exile, a massacre, hurricanes
and a couple of wars. Now they're ready for a party. By Laura Ciechanowski
Jesus told his followers to comfort those in prison. But for
prisoners awaiting political asylum, the INS turned the
Bible into contraband.
By Lisa Tozzi
Blurry vision, bewilderment and unshakable grief
greet asylum-seekers who emerge from federal detention.
By Karen Kaminsky
Refugees from the bloody war in Kosovo find that New
York City treats them like just another bunch of welfare cheats. By Jill Grossman
The Indo-Caribbeans of Richmond Hill are getting into politics to
protect their down payments on the American dream.
By Jyoti Thottam
Fighting Fires with Fire
Anne Devenney's down-to-earth demeanor helped the Northwest
Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition come together-
and her fighting style gave the borough a fighting chance.
By Jordan Moss
Counting Backwards
Going by the numbers, New York City should be getting additional
representatives in Albany. But count on politics as usual to tum
this year's census into another opportunity to core the Big Apple.
By Jill Grossman
The Bed-Stuy Bubble
the Big Apple. By Jill Grossman The Bed-Stuy Bubble ~ Who wants to be a millionaire?

Who wants to be a millionaire? In Bed-Stuy, gifting clubs help everybody get rich-until the music stops.

Locked Out

By Matthew Blilnchard


Landlords assumed Asian tenants would up with some of their ugliest tricks, including threatening letters, illegal evictions and dilapidated apartments . They were wrong. By David Kihara

Book Review

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for NewYork Building a Better New York ~. , i LETTERS HOSTILE EMVIROMMEMT Bravo to Kemba



Bravo to Kemba Johnson and City Limits for your report "Green With Envy" (January 2000). While picayune corrections are to be expected (i.e.-X is/is not a member of Y coalition), the overall characterizations of the politics, players and agendas in conflict over environmental justice are on target. There are those who will attempt to spin

as personal attacks. Don 't

believe the hype (although some of your captioning choices were unduly harsh). At bottom, the conflict is over naked political power plays versus the empow- erment of indigenous, community-led environmental movements (which is what environmental justice was sup- posed to be all about). One final note: Mainstream organiza- tions attempting to install themselves as intermediaries between environmental justice activists and their elected repre- sentatives are in for a rude awakening. Communities of color have learned bitter lessons from Robert Moses-style, top- down planning politics and know how to deal with would-be powerbrokers. We will not be relegated to the back of the environmental bus ever again.

the story

Eddie Bautista Director of Community Planning New York Lawyers for the Public Interest


In "The New Math" (December 1999), attorney Cathleen Clements should have been identified as chair of the Social Welfare Law Committee at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. She is also director of the Office of Public Policy & CLient Advo- cacy at the Children's Aid Society. In "Begin the Running" (March 2000), City Council candidate Rocky Chin should have been identified as an attorney at the New York City Human Rights Commission, and June Eisland's soon-to-be-open Bronx seat is in District



Bedfellows Won't You Be My Labor~ A B illary Cli nton isn't shy about shop-


Won't You Be My Labor~A

B illary Cli nton isn't shy about shop- ping around for what she (and the Democratic National Committee) wants. Open Senate seat? She'll take it. And now that she' s an official New

Yorker, Clinton is taking full advantage of the state's oddball election laws. New York allows "fusion tickets" in which a candidate goes on the ballot with the backing of more than one political party. In fact, no one has won a Senate seat in decades without at least two endorsements-one

major, one minor. Enter the Working Families Party. In the two years of its existence, this alliance of labor unions and grassroots activists has gone from a long-overdue idea to a small but unmistakable force in state politics. In 1999, its candidates won more than a hundred races statewide, and the party helped the Democrats stage major upsets in Nassau County. The year before, it backed Peter Vallone in his failed bid for gover- nor, but Working Families got what it wanted:

APRIL 2000

the 50,000 votes it needed to secure a coveted line on the state ballot. Now WFP is putting that arsenal to use. It has all but endorsed Hillary Clinton, and the First Lady has readily accepted the overture. A Febru- ary Working Families fundraiser showed why: The reception room at the Sheraton New York was crammed with folks who antagonize Rudolph Giuliani for a living. Call it Hillary's vast left-wing conspiracy. Judging by the turnout, she may be the only thing Legal Aid honchos, anti-waste transfer station agi- tators, neighborhood rebuilders and rabble- rousers, everyone Rudy ever beat, an alphabet soup of progressive labor leaders, an army of Dinkinistas, and half the editors of The Nation have in common. ''This is our coming-out party," beamed party co-chair Bertha Lewis, who as Brooklyn head organizer of ACORN is more accustomed to fight- ing the mighty-most recently pushing developer Bruce Ratner to pay living wages to workers at his

malls-than she is partnering with one of the most powerful political figures in the country. "You have turned low-income people into the most pow- erful voice in New York politics!" Lewis later con- gratulated the crowd, with a suitably political dose of hyperbole. But don't expect to hear Clinton stump for the disenfranchished so loudly-that's what she's keeping Working Families around to do, says Democratic political consultant Hank Sheinkopf. "It protects her left," says Sheinkopf, explaining that Working Families can court union members and other progressives to the polls with relatively radical proposals-like living wages and single- payer health care-without tainting Hillary's care- fully crafted image as a centrist. "What this race is about is her trying to move him to the right and him pushing her to the left, so anything that pro- tects her left helps." Including, it would seem, a roomful of donors with collective eons of experience making trouble.

-Alyssa Katz





Federally Subsidized Summer Jobs by Neighborhood, 1999
















Lower Rockaway Williamsburg Stuyvesant EastSide Youth Jobs Swnmer Freeze T his year, New York City could

Youth Jobs



T his year, New York City could lose

two-thirds of the roughly 40,000 subsi-

dized summer jobs for teenagers it

offered last year. Big changes in feder-

al jobs policy emphasize year-round

work and jobs for teens who are out of school, draining much of the limited pool of federal cash away from summer employment. The governor is also allowed to skim off 15 percent of the federal funds for any jobs-related use he wants, including simply using the money to keep his state offices running. And so far, the state and the city haven' t promised to come up with any new cash for summer jobs.

Predictably, the . hit hardest in poor


numbers gather by United Neighborhood Houses, mak it clear: While communities like Bay Ridge and Forest Hills only had a ft;w score of these jobs last summer, Morningside Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant and East New York rely heavily on these subsidies. "Some neighborhoods could be losing a mil- lion or two million dollars worth of income that would certainly be spent locally," points out UNH's Doug Turetsky. "What other opportunities will these kids have to work?" It's not just the poorest districts; even some of the city's better-off neighborhoods put a lot of kids to work through these programs. Borough Park, for example, had 823 summer youth jobs last year; Jackson Heights had 778, and Greenpoint and Williamsburg had 1,897. UNH is now pushing the state and city governments to replace the lost fed- eral funding.

above, drawn from

-Kathleen McGowan


Checkmate in

drawn from -Kathleen McGowan Homelessness Checkmate in policies that w d toss families who don't work

policies that w d toss families who don't work out of city shelters and place their children in foster care, a coalition of the city's shelter operators did a rare thing: They took a stand. Now, the city 's Department of Homeless Ser- vices is literally making them pay for their audacity. In December, the Tier II Coalition, which includes 42 of the groups that operate the city 's homeless shelters, encouraged its members to refuse to implement the mayor's new policies. (Tier II shelters provide emergency housing for about 3,600 families every year, billing the city for the service.) Nearly all of them joined the boycott, and the majority skipped a special train- ing session that DHS had organized to teach them the new rules. By February, at least a half-dozen of them were wondering what happened to their checks. Normally, DHS pays shelter operators each month for the families they housed the month before. But many shelters instead got notice that their checks were stopped, with instructions to call DHS Commissioner Martin Oesterreich's office for a knuckle-rapping. "Basically, they were reprimanded for having taken a position in opposition to the city and were re-read the rules in terms of compliance with con- tracts, attending meetings, and toeing the line," says Gloria Nussbaum, executive director of the Tier II Coalition. "It was a little routine that folks had to go through." Shelter operators report that after they visited the commissioner's office, their checks appeared to be freed up and were going through the normal administrative check-cutting process. "[Oesterre- ich] did release our money," says one shelter operator, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution. "I think he just wanted people to call up and grovel." DHS did not return repeated calls for comment. '''That the administration has used the contract- ing process to seek revenge against critics is not new; that's why HUD has taken away the city's control of federal homeless funding," points out Legal Aid homeless policy expert Steve Banks. "It's clearly an attempt to chill criticism of a com- pletely misguided shelter plan." Mayor Giuliani threatened back in December to shut down any shelters that disobeyed his new rules. The regulations, hung up in court, have not yet been put in place.

-Kathleen McGowan





·n -------- ---------------Brie& I A VISIT TO THE NEWMUSEUMOF TIIhNYPD I- fI\~ i I' . '


fI\~ i I' . ' '! . ~ " ~




EV£RYl)AYOBJEcrs COPSCOMMONLYMISTAKEFORGllNS ~ .~ rn c = W hile state and banking officials trumpet the cost-cutting

W hile state and banking officials

trumpet the cost-cutting results of

the new Electronic Benefit Transfer

(EBT) system, poor New Yorkers

getting their food stamps and cash

welfare benefits with their new plastic cards won- der if they're the ones paying the price. Washington Heights, for example, has one of the highest concentrations of welfare recipients in the city. Yet cash access in the neighborhood is much more limited than state and banking offi- cials have promised. On its web site, the state Office of Temporary and Di sability Assistance lists 47 stores and gro- ceries in northern Washington Heights that accept the EBT card for both food and cash benefits. But a City Limits survey of 21 of those stores raises sig- nificant questions about the state's claims. While all but one of the stores do in fact accept EBT cards for

food stamp purchases, 11 of them-more than 50 percent-do not currently allow customers to access their cash benefits. Customers can use their cards to buy food, but they can't withdraw money

to buy clothes or pay bills. The 10 merchants who did offer cash benefits say that they limit the amount av ' Ie and that

they often do not have y cash fo stomers at all.

ore, at 126 Nagle

The owner of Bani ery

Avenue, says that he h ' t ' en out much cash to

customers. "Why w ople come here for . cash?" he asked. "W offer $25, and most people need more th that 0 pay their bills."

stores had no visi-

ble sign advertising EBT. Sarah Ludwig, director of the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project, is con- vinced that the state's list of AIMs is deliberately misleading, because it lists sites that don't actual-

In addition, eight of the

Iy offer cash. ''There' s a total misrepresentation about which locations are actually cash access sites," she claims. "Some of those listed require a purchase; others charge a fee." Customers who do find a store with cash access may then be stuck paying a fee. "For a sin- gle person who receives the standard $352 a month in benefits-barely enough to live on-he or she might make four separate withdrawals," explains caseworker Jenny Socorro of Seniors Helping Seniors, which offers assistance to poor elderly people. ''That's $8 to $10 in fees they didn't have to pay before." State and Citibank officials failed to return calls for comment. -Matt Pacenza



-Jill Grossman

In February, the Clinto Administration released a HunVOUCHES

good-news budget for. housing. All eyes are

proposal, S6

on one catchwo

This budget

* 18,000 focusing on homeless programs;

mentsfor very poor families.

billion higher ast y 's, requests 120,000 new vouchers for Section 8 subsidized housing. In New York City, where more than 200,000 families now sit on an eight-year wait list for these certificates, that could help about 6,000 households. The plans also include:

* 32,000 vouchers to help welfare recipients find stable housing near job opportunities;

* 10,000 designed to be combined with tax credit money, in a new initiative to build apart-

APRIL 2000

PROFILE i -.l'


Fighting Fires With Fire

The woman who told the Bronx "Don't move-improve" leaves a powerful legacy. By Jordan Moss

T he Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition would proba- bly have succeeded in saving a

chunk of the borough without Anne Devenney. After all, dozens of leaders emerged to drive the influential commu- nity organizing group and its 10 neigh- borhood-based affiliates. But those who worked with the folksy grandmother- turned-rabble-rouser, who died in Janu- ary at age 79, say it wouldn't have been as much fun without her. The coalition also might not have yielded perhaps its finest accomplish-

also might not have yielded perhaps its finest accomplish- me held me many a time when

me held me many a time when I could ha cried," she said in an interview last year. Devenney was a heavy woman who looked older than she was. She wore loose-fitting dresses and didn' t get gussied up for the work she did, save maybe the time she received an honorary doctorate from Fordham University.

ment: finding common cause across neighborhood and racial boundaries. That made it practically impossible for politi- cians and bureaucrats to divide and con- quer the Northwest Bronx by appeasing some communities and ignoring others. In the early 1970s, when tens of thou- sands of fires a year consumed the South Bronx and crept northward, and when bankers and insurance companies sud- denly abandoned entire zip codes, activist Anne Devenney emerged to help the fledgling coalition fight back, with humor and without fear. "The Irish wit that the good Lord gave

The late

Anne Devenney


bridge Bronx


and got the city to pay attention.

People were not intimidated by Deven- ney, except for the city bureaucrats and bank executives who frequently met their match in a likable, plainspeaking senior citizen who didn't take no for an answer. And her easy, approachable demeanor brought many others into the fold. John Reilly, who worked closely with Devenney when he was a young organizer in the 1970s, described her appeal this way:

"You see someone that you admire and you think, I'd like to be like that person. What was different about admiring Anne was that you had the sense that you were like that person. The qualities she had were things

ment and the city's unwillingness to step in, passed the collection plates to form an activist group to be staffed by young college graduates and interns. Picking up the orga- nizing lessons of Saul Alinsky and others, the coalition set out to develop locally grown leadership that would turn the tide. Devenney, then in her mid-fifties, was identified as a leader by her pastor at St. Brendan 's Church in the Norwood sec- tion, an Irish and Jewish enclave tucked neatly above Mosholu Parkway and below Woodlawn Cemetery. The task at hand was a far cry from the Altar and Rosary Society, which she headed for 20 years. But Devenney, born in Hell 's Kitchen to an Irish immigrant and his Irish-American wife, knew a little bit about what she was getting into. The youngest of eight children, Devenney would tag along with her father, who tended boilers in Manhattan buildings, as he picketed for labor causes. On the occa-


sions they ended up on the receiving end of a tomato or egg, Devenney's dad would tell her, "It don't hurt- we can wash our clothes." At a time when the fiscal crisis was an excuse for doing nothing to improve city services, Devenney and her neighbors were surprisingly successful in wring- ing out their fair share from bureaucrats inclined to write off the Bronx. Devenney looked after her neigh- borhood, fighting r park improvements and safer streets and helpin sa the 52nd Precinct, which city budget-cutters w ted t merge with in Riverdale. Her neighbor ood, la::l wn i oalitIOn parlance as Mosholu Woodl n for it rders to the north and south, was hard immu om racism, and the tone of community nvolv ent ould easily have been parochial. But v ney woul have none of it. Earli-

er "than anyone else, she

S ome of the issues-like disinvestment by banks

and insurance companies-were complex. But

Devenney, who dropped out of high school to

take a job at Woolworth's, translated it into the under-

standable language of neighborhood survival. "You didn't have to feel like you needed to get an MBA in order to be able to follow an insurance or banking agenda," says Jim Buckley, who was executive direc- tor of the coalition during Devenney's tenure as pres- ident of the board from 1979 to 1984. "And I think that had a lot to do with the way Anne ran a meeting, and the way she explained an issue." Devenney further popularized tough issues by effort- lessly corning up with slogans that became rallying calls. "Don't move-improve" was her most famous. The coalition also made waves by going to places where it wasn't welcome. Devenney and her neighbors

were not shy about showing up at a corporate board meeting or the private home of a landlord or city commissioner. Their tar- gets often felt the tactic- known as a "hit"-went over the line. But Devenney believed they had every right to be there because their own homes were in jeopardy. "No man is so above us, or woman, that we can't go where they live," she said. With a joke or a glance, Devenney was able to defuse the tension inherent in such confrontations. "You can't pos- sibly be mad at us," was the tone she easily conveyed, says

Reilly. "What would you expect us to do? We told you we'd come here if we didn't get this." The issues have changed a little, but the coalition still bridges divides of race and geography, its neigh- borhoods uniting to organize for school construction and real community policing. Devenney's legacy also

survives in coalition veterans who continue working for community renewal. A self-described "short, shy Puerto Rican house- wife" named Dalma De La Rosa became everything but shy once she got involved with the coalition to save her near-abandoned building. She credits her friend and mentor with sending many people on the path to neighborhood leadership, including herself- like Devenney, she ended up president of the coalition. "There are people that come into your life that kind of point the way you want to go, " she says. "Anne was that kind of icon." •


nized that the coalition's neigh- borhoods would fare better if they formed a united front. The coalition had issue committees that leaders from different affili- ates collaborated on, but it was Devenney who literally walked the walk, traveling to neighbor- hoods to work on issues that sometimes had little to do with Mosholu Woodlawn. Reilly remembers an early jaunt to Crotona that he believes set the stage for the organiza- tion's later development. The city had cleared four square blocks of apartment buildings in Crotona for a new Fordham Hospital. After the plan was abandoned- another fiscal crisis casualty-

the city added insult to injury by using the vacant lots as a dump- ing ground for street cleaning trucks. Devenney insist- ed on traveling to Crotona, at the southern end of the coalition's turf, to support coalition leader Astin Jacobo and his neighbors for a meeting with the San- itation Department at St. Martin of Tours church. "I think at that time there was still some concern whether all these neighborhoods were going to work together, that they were going to see their common interest," Reilly recalls. "They weren't that sure that [the Northwest Bronx coalition] wasn't just set up for the neighborhoods that were whiter to keep other peo- ple out." But when Devenney came down, Jacobo told Reilly, it gave him a new outlook on what the coalition could accomplish. Devenney and the Dominican Jacobo called themselves "Salt and Pepper," and they continued to collaborate over the years. Reflected Devenney, "Even though I lived up in [Mosholu Woodlawn], it was 10 neighborhoods that I was always fighting for-never one park, never one hospital, never one neighborhood."

The issues were complex, but Anne Devenney translated them into the language of neighborhood survival.

Jordan Moss is editor of the Norwood News, a Bronx community paper.

APRIL 2000





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Counting Backwards

The census could give the city more Albany muscle-if legislators do 't give voters the shaft. By Jill Grossman

E very year, the New York State Legis- lature plays the same game. Democ- rats control the Assembly, the Repub-

licans own the Senate, the two parties lock horns, and very little gets done. The product of an agreement between the two parties, this setup keeps the powerful in power. It could also get overturned by the next census. In upstate New York, more and more residents are leaving, fleeing troubled local economies. Population estimates suggest that upstate counties have lost

nearly 2 percent of their residents since 1990. At the same time, immigration and a mini baby boom in the city are swelling the downstate population

could shift the balance of party power-<>r keep it just the way it is.

''It can't be said definitively how this will

play out," admits Doug Forand, a staffer to

Senate Minority Leader Martin Connor. But one thing's for sure, he says: Republicans "are going to do anything they can to mini- mize the population in New York City."

its last few surveys, the Census

I Bureau has been plagued by embarrass- ing undercounts. The errors were partic- ularly bad in urban areas: Census officials figure they missed about 277,fXXJ NewYork

State residents in


o . ating
. ating

The s e high. Republicans' hold on e Se has become precarious: After

r more than 50 years, their

argin over e Democrats is now only six seats. The last . g Republicans can afford is a new Senate eat in heavily Democratic New York City. Chances are, though, that lawmakers will find a way to maintain the old order. In

1982, Assembly Democrats and Senate Republicans hashed out an understanding that each house would handle its own redis- tricting. The parties promised to draw lines so Dems would get to keep their margin of seats in the Assembly, and the Republicans would hold on to the Senate. As a result, most districts have ended up overwhelm- ingly Democratic or Republican, virtually guaranteeing incumbents reelection. 'There's a deliberate effort to minimize competition," says Blair Homer, legislative director for the New York Public Interest Research Group. With the parties firmly in control of the process, a lot of political maneuvering goes into carving the state into new districts. A task force crunches the numbers and holds perfunctory public hearings, while elected officials negotiate the details behind closed doors. Legislators have argued for, and won, lines redrawn in order to include their apartments, or, in some cases, to draw an

elected official out of his district in hopes of removing him from the legislature. Retired Democratic Senator Franz Leichter was "districted out" twice by Republicans during his 30 years in office, forcing him to move to stay inside district lines. It's too early to tell if dealmaking will

quash the city's chances at getting a new Senate seat. The outcome is especially unpredictable because of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions that outlaw dis- tricts drawn to promote the election of minority candidates-something that's been done extensively in the city. Good government groups have called for an independent commission to oversee the redistricting process. Common Cause, for one, is hoping to put forth a bill in the next couple of months. But observers point out that challenges are unlikely to fly: leg- islators have repeatedly introduced similar

bills calling for an independent districting body, which invariably go nowhere. •

districting body, which invariably go nowhere. • l's Name? What IS Person . last Name \

l's Name?

What IS Person


last Name



First Name


party status?

Is this person



ower upstate?


o Keeping






What is thiS person s






Gutta luck

Eager to keep P Sheldon Silver in looking to keep

charge? looking for ano

ther late budget?



Albany in gndl oC .

What is this person's .race?

o To win-again and again

. What is this person's .race? o To win-again and again by about the same amount.
. What is this person's .race? o To win-again and again by about the same amount.
. What is this person's .race? o To win-again and again by about the same amount.

by about the same amount. The numbers suggest that New York City stands to gain a couple of seats in the Assembly and one more vote in the Senate; Manhattan's population, for instance, has grown by 4 percent in the last decade. Once the census figures come out next spring, these population shifts ought to have a big impact on the state power structure. But count on politics as usual to get in the way. New York now faces the same showdown over census data that launched Washington into a partisan war over con- gressional seats. Albany has to decide how to play the census numbers, a decision that

1990. More than 85 percent

or the undercount was in the city.

So for 2fXXJ, the feds planned to use sta-

tistical sampling to correct raw headcount data-a decision that became embroiled in politics. Democrats favor sampling because it is likely to tally more poor and minority voters, who tend to vote left; Republicans prefer headcounts. Eventually, the Supreme Court ruled that federal districts must be drawn using only headcount numbers. But state legislatures are allowed to choose which set of numbers to use. For the city, the implications of this choice are pro- found. Had Big Apple residents been prop- erly counted in 1990, the city could have won two new seats in the Assembly and possibly another in the State Senate.




The Bed-Stuy Bubble

A wave of "gifting clubs" spreads wealth around Brooklyn, bringing hope-and high risk-to desperate investors. By Matthew Blanchard





desperate investors. By Matthew Blanchard PIPELINE . i , prayer. ''Lord, protect us from all and

prayer. ''Lord, protect us from all and anoint us with the capability to become wealthy. Amen." With that, the 20 people assembled here at Bedford-Stuyvesant's Elim International Fellowship Church take their seats. Everyone in the mostly female crowd wears the tired expression that comes with being not at all wealthy during this era of go- go IPOs on Wall Street But tonight, with their kids in tow, they've come to this Evan- gelical church to witness their own financial miracle. They've come to hear how-with a little help from Wade, who presides at the front of the room-they can tum their friends, family and business associates into "money, cash money." The process is easy. Participants give a $2,000 "gift" to enter the group, and if they can recruit enough new members to come in behind them with the same gift, they'll receive $16,000 in just a few weeks. After giving $500 back to the club for expenses, the money is theirs to keep. ''Now what kind of bank pays you that kind of dividend?" asks Wade, raising her arms above her round body in an exaggerated shrug. ''What kind of CD matures that quickly? ''We are all increasing the circle of money and friends," she says. ''This is God's work." If "God's work" sounds like a pyramid

Since then, devoted Arnigos members have taken gifting underground, resurfacing with splinter groups like Wade's. Organiz- ers claim that gifting clubs have now taken root in all five boroughs, Long Island, Con- necticut and VIrginia. Wade tells participants they have Bish- op Wilbert McKinley to thank for their gift- ing club. McKinley is head pastor at Elirn, a thriving congregation in a trio of well- kept buildings on Madison Street. McKin- ley reportedly brought gifting to Elirn after participating in a similar club and using his winnings to buy supplies for the church. Wade and McKinley both refuse to dis- cuss the club, its finances, or its connec- tion to the church. The amount of money flowing through the club is sizable--each time a recruiter cashes out, he or she gives $500 back to the club for "expenses." Ten

rounds would produce $127,500. Meetings are never publicized, and admission is by invitation only. The goal, according to organizers, is to "create a strong economic base for members and their communities." Participants, too, insist that gifting is no scam but a cooperative effort to lift people out of financial limbo. Your $2,000 doesn 't go to Merrill Lynch, they point out, but straight back into the com- munity, where a neighbor or friend will use it to buy a home, start a business or send their kids to college. In that sense, Pastor Wade's gifting club is a deeply flawed but effective grassroots lending network, helping at least some of its members help themselves. One member is counting on Wade's payoff to save his stalled career. Once an

. scheme, that's because fundamentally, it is. To make a profit, club members must pull in an ever-larger number of new investors to pass their cash up the pyramid. When that pool of recruits dries up, the club will have to collapse, and the latest investors will find that the cash they gave to a stranger won't be coming back. It's an ancient financial girnrnick, bor- rowwing from Peter to pay an 800 percent return on Paul's investment. Such "Ponzi schemes" are illegal in most states, includ- ing New York. Yet gifting clubs are thriving. Last year, a group called Amigos Associates Social Club tore through New Jersey, draw- ing in more than 4,000 people before authorities shut it down in September.


APRIL 2000

tore through New Jersey, draw- ing in more than 4,000 people before authorities shut it down



Once an adjunct lecturer at Queens Col- lege, he was just six credits shy of his mas- ter's degree in political science when insol- vency forced him to quit in 1991. Now he supports his two children with a job at a foster care agency, work he describes as stressful and depressing. An extra $16,000 could mean everything. "It would certainly

help me payoff

For Wade, if gifting can help people like him get their lives on track, it's nothing less than a step toward racial justice. "When black folks realized they didn't have to sit at the back of the bus, they started standing up," she explained at a recent meeting.

'That's what we're talking about here."

investor needs to do is find two frie s

ing to join a pyramid, or "ship," of 5 pie: eight at the bottom, four and two in th middle rungs and a "team captain" on top. Those who can't come up with a $2, entry gift can join $500 or $100 s . s.

Inevitably, though, this magi al ro- cess has its limitations. Just 10 ounds would put $16,000 in the hands of 255 people, but it would require the participa- tion of over 2,000 others. Twenty rounds would call on most of Brooklyn's 2.3 mil- lion residents, and 32 would involve bil- lions more than are currently alive on Earth. None of this dissuades gifting club participants, who say their enterprise will never collapse because winners must rein- vest $2,000 of their take after each round. While economists say this recycling strat- egy only postpones collapse, members appear convinced they will prevail. "How can you run out of people?" asks club member Dennis McNeil. "Everybody knows somebody. It's called networking:

talking to total strangers and showing them that this can help their lives." And McNeil


has an enticing sales pitch. Last year, he

16,000 from Arnigos, a considerable st for a former UPS driver who now makes less than $30,000 a year as a foster care caseworker. With his next payout, cNeil hopes to move his family from the

wo B

nx to Westchester or Long Island.

cNeil was one of hundreds to win big with 'gos Associates, which was, before


po .ce stepped in, the mother of all gift-


clubs. Meetings were held in the Garden

State Exhibition Center, where on a single

night last June more than 1,048 people gift-

ed a total of $2,096,000 to 131 team cap-

tains. Arnigos founder Linda K. Shepard, a church musician and music store owner, publicized the events and reportedly invited

law enforcement agents to attend. Shepard assured the crowds that every-

thing was legal because gifts under $10,000

are exempt from IRS scrutiny. But the state

Division of Consumer Affairs didn't buy it. Ajudge fined Arnigos $200,000 and barred

it from doing business in New Jersey. The court, however, did not find Shep-

ard herself liable for any damages. After a

year's work, she had kept only $40,000, diverting thousands of dollars to soup kitchens, musical groups, a credit counsel-

ing program and a relief effort for the flood-devastated town of Bound Brook. According to judge and prosecutor alike, Shepard walked a fine line between chari- ty and fraud but never intended to do any harm. "She's just an honest, God-fearing woman who was trying to do something good," says Mark S. Herr, director of the

New Jersey State Division of Consumer Affairs. "She truly believed her gifting sys- tem was going to help people." For better or worse, say church leaders

in the neighborhood, these kinds of

arrangements have long been part of the Bed-Stuy economy. 'These things resur- face every five years or so," says Colvin

Grannum, the director of the Bridge Street Local Development Corporation who, for

a brief period during the 1980s, fell prey to

a scheme then called the "airplane game." 'There was almost a religious fervor to

it," Grannum recalls. 'They were running

them out of church halls and people were bringing in their mothers and fathers. I can

tell you, no one was trying to screw any-

body. I think they just didn't understand what they were doing." •

Matthew Blanchard is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer.

my student loans ," he says.

A nd so the clubs persist, simply because participants, many of whom Uve from paycheck to pay-

check, desperately need the money. At a time when huge fortunes are being built on nothing but the uncertain promise of com- panies' future earnings, gifting doesn't

sound like such an outlandish gamble. Making $16,000 is pretty easy. All an


But there is free legal assistance

Not-for-profits, community groups and organizations working to improve their communities in New York City are eligible for free legal assistance through New

York Lawyers for the Public Interest's (NYLPI) pro bono clearinghouse. The

clearinghouse draws on the expertise of lawyers at our 79 member law firms and corporate legal departments.

Our network of attorneys can work with you on a wide variety of legal issues:

• Establishing your group as a not-for-profit

• Lease negotiations and other real estate matters

• Establishing a long-term relationship with one of our member law firms

• Representing your organi~ation in litigation matters

If you believe your organization can benefit from legal assistance, call Bryan Pu-Folkes at (212) 244-4664, or email at to see if you qualify.

All legal services are free of charge. NYLPI, 151 West 30th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10001-4007

All legal services are free of charge. NYLPI, 151 West 30th Street, 11th Floor, New York,



Locked Out

With help from the feds, A i n tenants strike back at bigoted landlords. By David Kihara

tenants strike back at bigoted landlords. By David Kihara stereotypes about Asian-Americans, but the e also

stereotypes about Asian-Americans, but the e also on to an uncomfortable truth. In a city where generations of organizers have pushed black and Latino tenants to resist housing discrimination, many Asian tenants remain uninformed of their rights. That's finally been changing, as AAFE and other groups working with Asian- Americans, including the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence (CAAAV), embark on campaigns to make sure the



T wo years ago, Jyothi Desai an husband decided to move from their apartment on Roosevelt Island to

Queens. She called several real estate bro- kers, all of whom were very friendly over the phone. "You can tell I don't really have an accent, unless it's an upstate New York

accent," says Desai, who moved from India to the United States when she was seven. But when she arrived at the real estate brokers' offices, she says, she was treated much differently. "When my husband and I showed up in person, we were often shown shoddy apartments in areas we didn't want to live in," Desai recalls. "Also, some of the real- tors would never call us back after meeting them. One even asked for a $25 cash deposit for a credit check but refused to give us a receipt." A friend eventually referred her to Asian Americans for Equality, a civil rights group that operates a four-year-old program fighting housing discrimination. AAFE investigated and eventually filed a case with the federal Department of Hous- ing and Urban Development. The realtors settled. In addition to awarding the Desais a few thousand dollars, the brokers agreed to attend a training session reminding them of a basic rule of the business: Dis- criminating against tenants and buyers on the basis of race is illegal. The bias Desai faced is hardly uncom- mon these days . On the Lower East Side, where vacant tenement apartments can fetch $2,000 a month, landlords have

. threatened to report Asian tenants to immi- gration authorities and have posted signs falsely warning residents that they must vacate. In Queens, landlords commonly force Korean and Chinese tenants to pay hundreds of dollars for "key deposits" that they will never get back. And in cases in which Asian tenants do find themselves in demand, it's for the worst possible reasons: Landlords trying to rent out dilapidated apartments-seek- ing tenants who will not complain if hot water is not running or paint is peeJing- have been known to search out Chinese or Korean tenants on the belief that these renters will not fight back. Landlords often base that assumption

plaints filed with HUD have been pretty steady, but the number of people coming to us for help is increasing." With the city's Asian population expect- ed to reach 800,000 with the next census, the potential for harassment and discrimi- nation is only growing. Organizing groups from ACORN to Los Sures have worked for decades to educate black and Latino communities about housing discrimination. Other groups translate HUD materials into

discrimination. Other groups translate HUD materials into city's Asian residents understand and act on their right

city's Asian residents understand and act on their right to decent homes without harassment. AAFE looms largest among them. This year, it's getting $687,291 from HUD to educate and Worm the city's Asian tenants of their rights-nearly double the amount it received last year. ''First- and second- generation Asian immigrants are finally coming forward with their cases of discrim- ination," says Chris Punongbayan, who counsels tenants at AAFE's Fair Housing Office in Flushing. 'The number of com-

Spanish and help tenants navigate intimi- dating housing courts. Asian organizations, by contrast, have provided these services for just five or six years. "I think the Asian community is not in the same place as their black and Latino counterparts," concedes Punongbayan . "But we've reached a critical mass. Now we just have to start really organizing."

At 15. Peter Bit (right) organized his neighbors against a lousy landlord. with advice from Eric Tang of the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence.

L atel y, Chinatown has become a par- ti.cularl Y heated battleground. Increasingly trendy, it's experienc-

APRIL 2000




ing skyrocketing rents and a three percent housing vacancy rate. Although most apart- ments are rent-regulated-their landlords cannot evict tenants without cause and can only charge limited rent increases- changes that went into effect three years ago have left current tenants increasingly vulnerable. Now owners can raise rents on these apartments by anywhere from 18 to 30 percent or more-if they can get rid of the current tenants. Ai Ling Chan understands the depths to which landlords will sink. Last Febru- ary, her landlord told her family they had to leave so he could renovate the building. He soon began harassing Chan, her hus- band and their three children, cutting off their heat, then turning off the electricity. Chan, who paid $850 for a two-bedroom, says the landlord also carne by every morning and pounded on her door with a hammer, demanding they move out. "Where could I go? I couldn't find an apartment that I could afford," says Chan through an interpreter. "We had a lease, but that didn't matter to him." With AAFE's help, they found a new apartment in Chinatown. The owner of another building, at 229 Elizabeth Street, sent a letter to his Asian tenants-but not his non-Asian renters- demanding that they supply him with birth certificates and passport photos for every- one living in their apartments. The letter also stated that anyone who refused would be reported to the Immigration and Natu- ralization Service-unexpected news for the many recipients who were legal immi- grants. The landlord, Hanan Ofer, denies sending the letter. The tenants brought their case to AAFE, but they were reluctant to bring a formal complaint to HUD or even confront the landlord. ''There is a lot of fear in the Asian community," says Margaret Chin, deputy executive director for AAFE. ''They don't know the laws, they're afraid of landlords and they're afraid of harass- ment. Even the tenants who received the letters didn't want to fight it. They didn't know if anything would get done." After briefing the tenants in Korean on their rights and the law, Chin says, she eventually convinced them to file a com- plaint with HUD's Office of Fair Housing. HUD is still investigating. Playing enforcer for a U.S. government agency is a long way from AAFE's roots as a Marxist organization notorious for its

Landlords take advantage

of an

uncomfortable truth: Many Asi do

take advantage of an uncomfortable truth: Many Asi do protests against police brutality. Spurred into housing

protests against police brutality. Spurred into housing work by a 1985 Chinatown fire that left more than 125 tenants home- less, AAFE has since become an establish- ment force; with an annual budget around $2 million, it has come to own 450 low- income units and manage 25 buildings in New York City. Since 1997, AAFE has filed seven complaints of racial discrimination with HUD. During that time, HUD's New York regional office has received just 33 com- plaints of discrimination based on race or national origin-a tiny portion of the 691 discrimination cases filed. Chin says the numbers don't tell the whole story. "Getting people to file a complaint is different than experiencing discrimination. In many cases, people will come to us with complaints, but they won't take it to the next step and file offi- cial complaints." Chin says in some cases, bad experiences with police or government officials in their homelands keep tenants quiet. AAFE also conducts its own investiga- tions. In cases like the Desais', involving steering by realtors to undesirable apart- ments' the group employs testers, non- Asian (usually white) undercover agents who ask to see apartments in the same locations and price ranges. HUD finances the testers, and their accounts often pro- vide important evidence for investigations. AAFE also uses its HUD money to trans- late agency literature into Chinese, Kore- an, and a few Indian dialects, and to hold fair housing seminars with landlords. But AAFE and its education efforts can

only go so far. More than 25,000 Asian immigrants settle in New York each year, fresh targets for landlords-like the one in Queens whose leases relieved him of responsibility for his buildings' water, heat or maintenance. The agreements also stat- ed that the landlord had free access to the apartments at any time. Says Punongbayan ruefully, ''The land- lord rented only to Asian tenants because he thought they wouldn't fight back."

I n a building on East 183rd Street in East Tremont, 18-year-old Peter Bit is trying to prove the landlords wrong. With training from the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence's Youth Leadership Project, Bit organized his Cambodian and Vietnamese neighbors three years ago. "I was just tired of seeing the Asian tenants getting pushed around," says Bit, whose family is from Cambodia. Their landlord at the time was allegedly sending tenants phony letters from state officials, claiming that anyone who complained about problems-which included rodent infestations, chipping paint, broken door locks, and sporadic heat and hot water- would get evicted. Starting with five Cambodian families, Bit eventually got all 10 Asian households in the building to form a tenants' organiza- tion. (To his regret, the building's 30 Lati- no families declined to get involved.) The tenants drew up demands and took their landlord to Housing Court, where they won an order for the problems to be fixed. The hardest part, says Bit, was convincing neighbors that he could bring a valid case in court at his young age. Eric Tang heads the Youth Leadership Project, a coalition of young Asians involved in community activism. Besides promoting tenant organizing, the group has held workshops on police brutality and protested Governor George Pataki's failure to provide resources for immigrants. Tang says landlords are going to have to get used to upstarts like Bit. ''There might be a common perception that Asians in general won't organize, but I think for the most part this is manufactured," says Tang. ''If it's 10 degrees out and you don 't have heat, you 're not going to just sit there and be servile. Saying Asians are docile is a myth." •

David Kihara is a Manhattan-based free- lance writer.



APRIL 2000

It's a story with almost as many variations as there have been newcomers. As immigrant groups arrive, they all find new ways of doing the same thing: becoming New Yorkers. Six stories show how unlikely business ventures, tenuous political movements, hostile government bureacracies and neglected neighborhoods provide vital footholds in a slippery new world.

Ethnic strife ·isn't what splits a Sri Lankan enclave. It's porn.

·isn't what splits a Sri Lankan enclave. It's porn. Vi deo porn shops give some Sri

Vi deo porn shops

give some Sri

La nka ns a

viable-but emb arrassing- wa y to ma ke a livi ng.


by N.F.P. Fernandes

I n 1967, when Leslie Gunaratne first saw the spanking new apartment block in Staten Island's Park Hill Section, he knew it was going to be perfect. The 31-year-old accountant had emigrated from Sri Lanka only six weeks before, and

New York was still an unfamiliar and somewhat intimidating blur. Living out of a rent-by-the-month hotel in Manhattan, he urgent- ly needed to find a place for his wife and three children. That's when he found Staten Island. A colleague stepped in, organizing a house-hunting trip through the borough, assuring Gunaratne that it was far more congenial than Manhattan-and cheaper. Gunaratne was charmed by Staten Island's slower rhythms and small-town feel. The streets were quiet, and there was lots of open space for his children to play in. "I simply fell in love with Staten Island," he recalls. For the Gunaratne family, Staten Island was a convenient respite, a lucky accident. But for the thousands of Sri Lankans that were to follow them, this small neighborhood was to be an outpost of home. Leslie Gunaratne says that his family was the first from Sri Lanka to settle on Staten Island when they moved into their tbree- bedroom apartment on Targee Street on May 1, 1967. Then, a few years later, Gunaratne got a phone call from the Sri Lankan mission

to the United Nations. A start a job in the city was stuck at the airport with no place to go. Gunaratne instructed the officials to send the young man and his wife to Staten Island,

and he promised to pay the taxi fare. (A foreign exchange shortage in Sri Lanka allowed travelers to change only $3.50 before coming to the U.S.) The kind gesture took root. "Leslie was nice enough to allow us to stay with him for almost a week," recalls Dr. Fauzy Saleem, who still lives in the borough almost 30 years later.

the pace picked up. Many .of the early Sri Lankan

After that,

settlers on the island were members of Gunaratne's extended fam- ily, who began to come over in 1973 after he became a United States citizen. In just a few months, he helped his five brothers, four sisters and their families move to the U.S. By then, he'd bought a four-bedroom house in the New Brighton section of the island. Each sibling "would come and stay with me for a month, till they found a job," he explains. "Then they'd rent places around the neighborhood." Soon, many of his married nephews and nieces were bringing over their in-laws as well. By the time Gunaratne moved to Houston in 1979, he estimates that 80 per- cent of the roughly 500 Sri Lankans on Staten Island "were con- nected to me by blood or marriage." Gunaratne's relatives became the kernel of a community that has since expanded to nearly 3,(XX) people, serviced by a restaurant, a Buddhist temple and a cluster of grocery stores. The island is the New

York hub for the approximately 5,(XX) Sri Lankans in the tri-state


area. "Staten Island is a name that's known in big Sri Lankan cities;' says Bante Kondanna, the chief priest at the temple. ''People know

that if they run into trouble while visiting New York, they can come to Staten Island and find

a Sri Lankan who will help them."

The newcomers are most visible in the knot of businesses at the crossroads of Victo- ry Boulevard and Cebra Avenue in northern Tomkinsville. Parkland Grocery is piled high with cans of fried jakseed and soya curry, as well as newspapers and videotapes from home. At Good Spicy Taste Restaurant and Bake Shop, Sri Lankans stop by for meals of such staples as kottu and rotti, topped off with creamy vatilappam, a flan-like dessert garnished with coconut and raisins. Often, the lilt of "baila" pop music-which fuses Portuguese colonial influences with rhythms from South India-floats out from a boom box on the counter. Images of the Buddha, Mary, the Hindu god Shiva and an Islamic inscription decorate the eatery, testimony to the religious diversity of these immigrants. Like every immigrant group in the city, these Sri Lankans have devised their own distinct ways of becoming New Yorkers. Yet their path to becoming part of the fabric of the city tells a universal story of how immi- grant settlements coalesce, grow. d thrive.

g to exploit

r groups have y Sri Lankans, the sex shops of t became even

Ie when e city assed anti- pornograp laws years ago. another

familiar phe enon, groups that warring


the Sinbalas-here live side by side. In fact, the biggest tensions in New City's Sri Lankan enclave don't stem fro old ethnic animosity. Instead, the conflicts are about how best to get by-and get

ahead- in the new world. Some profession-

al Sri Lankans worry their community's rep- utation will be sullied by the sex-store work- ers. Ultimately, the particular patterns of this Sri Lankan enclave are a reminder that the city's ethnic neighborhoods aren't end- points. Instead, they are way-stations, defined largely by accidents of personal preference and history, where immigrants are transformed into Americans.

Often, edging in has meant


e that 0




. n
. n

r rejected.

led to workiri

,a marginal '

their homeland-in this case, the 11

s and


F ew people with work papers would

willingly choose jobs in the porn

industry, where dreary tasks

include selling tokens and mop-

ping effluvia off the floors of the peep show

APRIL 2000



fleeing Sri

Lanka's bloody civil war settled doum right next door to Sinhalas. "We're in America to


money," says one

Tamil man.

"Who has tIme to relive the problems at home?"


o Entry

parlors. The hours are long, often for less than the minimum wage. And the shops are now a precarious way to make a living, ever since the Giuliani administration pushed through zoning regulations in 1997 that imperiled the future of this industry. But that may also be what opened the door to this business for the new Sri Lankans: Simply put, dirty jobs are easier to get. As their island-nation's economy crum- bled under the strain of a long civil war, a new wave of Sri Lankans wound up in New York in the early 199Os. Many were here illegally, tourists who overstayed their visas or sailors who skipped ship. When they arrived, the city was recovering from a recession and still suffering from double- digit unemployment. Porn shops, unlike more dignified industries, were hiring. The city doesn't track ·the ethnicity of the store owners, but Sri Lankans estimate that their countrymen own between 10 and 15 stores-almost 10 percent of the 140 to 150 stores still operating. They are a visible presence in Times Square, if you know where to look. Among the owners is a man known to some as Lucky N because he has decided that the letter "n" is auspicious for him . He has given his establishments names like Neptune, Nimble and Nectar. Each wave of Sri Lankan immigration to New York has roughly coincided with rising political tensions at home, but each has different characteristics. Gunaratne and many other professionals who moved here in the late 1960s are members of Sri Lanka's Sinhala ethnic majority, who were afraid that the government's socialist-ori- ented policies would stifle initiative. They also were concerned that the chauvinistic ambitions of an extremist Sinhala group was robbing the country of its cosmopoli- tan flair. Many of the early immigrants were doctors, in part because the Sri

Lankan capital was one of only two Asian cities where foreigners aspiring to work in U.S. hospitals could take the test permitting them to practice medicine in this country. In the mid-1980s, though, immigration patterns shifted. Members of Sri Lanka's Tamil minority were increasingly seeking refuge in the U.S. as ethnic struggles inten- sified into a bloody civil war. Many settled on Staten Island, alongside the Sinhala "adversaries" they were fleeing. On Victory Boulevard, three of the four Sri Lankan stores are owned by Tamils but patronized both by Tamils and Sinhalas. ''We're in America to make money. Who's got time to relive the problems at home?" a Tamil man -

Ifoints o Entry

named Mohan says, tucking into a steaming helping of chicken curry and string hoppers at the Good Spicy Taste Restaurant. By the mid 1990s, the civil war had shattered the Sri Lankan economy, prompting another rush of migration. Of the 488 Sri Lankans who migrated legally to the city between 1990 and 1994, almost a quarter chose to move to Staten Island, according to the City Planning Department's Newest New Yorkers survey. (By contrast, a mere 1.5 percent of all immigrants to New York during that period said that they intended to live in the borough.) Staten Island proved attractive as much for the familiar presence of other people from home as for the low rents (the average household in the borough pays $497 a month , by one account) and the relative- ly easy access to Manhattan afforded by the free ferry.

ly easy access to Manhattan afforded by the free ferry. Sunday School at a Staten Island

Sunday School at a Staten Island Buddhist temple catering mostly to working. class Sri Lankans. A rival temple in Queens attracts professionals.

A rival temple in Queens attracts professionals. M any of the Sri Lankans who came during

M any of the Sri Lankans who came during the last decade came illegally. It was these men who wound up working in the porn shops, and they are now the source of the friction in this supposedly conservative

community. Few employees and owners, for instance, even admit to what they do; in conversation, they say they work "in video stores" or, more euphemistically, "in the film business." ''They're too embarrassed to even tell their families what they're doing," says Bante Kondanna, the priest at the Buddhist temple. With a master's in social work from Fordham University, the reverend is well trained to observe and help remedy the pres- sures in the community. He says the sex store workers and own- ers are afraid of mixing with the rest of the community because "they think people will look down on them."

Bante Kondanna's congregation found its home only five months ago, in a large white house in the shadow of the Bayonne

Bridge. The temple runs daily services in a large hall dominated by a golden fiberglass statue of the Buddha. On Sundays, there are

Dharma classes for children and the Reverend even hosts a web page ( The congregation is solidly working class, and several worshippers are porn store employees. The more affluent Sri Lankans of Staten Island have dealt with this smutty secret by avoiding it. Many professionals prefer to attend services in a temple in the Queens neighborhood of Kew Gardens. (Another temple is being constructed in Hollis Hills. ) But for people without cars-the bulk of the Staten Island com- munity-that's a journey of more than two hours. In effect, the commute forms a cordon sanitaire between the two groups. ''The community doesn't like what [the sex store workers] are doing," admits Hector Gunaratne, who followed his brother Leslie to Staten Island in 1973 and helped raise funds for the Staten Island temple. ''They give the community a bad name." Their distaste, however, stays well within the confines of the community. In fact, the Sri Lankans have remained low profile. Like their Albanian Muslim neighbors in Tomkinsville, no Sri Lankans have yet made a play for seats on local civic bodies. "It's

a community that still has to find its direction in the borough,"

says Joseph Carroll of Staten Island's Community Board 1, who first became aware of the Sri Lankans in his area four years ago when he saw someone walk through the office building with an unusual implement that turned out to be a cricket bat. Sri Lankans and other immigrants from former British colonies compete for

the Staten Island Cup in a tournament held in Walker Park. Instead, community organizations focus on culture, arranging concerts by visiting troupes of singers and dancers on the Toronto-New York-Los Angeles circuit, where most North America-based Sri Lankans live. The community is too new and too small to count for much yet, says Buddhi Abeyasekara, a former

president of the Sri Lanka Association. Efforts at political organiz- ing may also be impeded by the dy flow of people who, like Leslie Gunara e away to s e in other parts of the country. But churning is· ly e way ethnic enclaves launch ts into mainstream .can life, says Phil Kasnitz, pro-

at the C raduate Center. "Part of the

ey into assumin an rican identity involves leav-

of the ey into assumin an rican identity involves leav- sociology ing the e .c neighborh


ing the e .c neighborh 0," he s

s. ''The services that are

available in

e ethnic


¥e they maintain an eth-

nic identity,

.tate the transition rnto the American main-

stream." The very shops and institutions that make new immigrant neighborhoods so noticeable are also stepping stones to assimila- tion, how the trappings of home get translated into a new idiom.

Leslie Gunaratne decided to move on to Florida in 1979, and

he 'd had enough bitter

New York winters. But he also thought he'd find more opportuni-

ties away from Staten Island . "When I return to visit my family on the island, it feels like home," he says. "But there's a whole coun- try beyond New York." Of course, not everyone believes they have to leave Staten Island

he now lives in Houston. He jokes that

to become a real American. Hector Gunaratne, for one, gets a daily

glimpse of the American dream when he looks across the water from his office window at the Statue of Liberty. "I'm reminded that

this is a country of immigrants; ' he says. "It makes me feel that this

is my home." •

N.FP Fernandes is a Brooklyn-based freelan ce writer.


For New York's Garifuna, 203 years of exile is cause for a party and cultural pride.

203 years of exile is cause for a party and cultural pride. by Laura Ciechanowski The
203 years of exile is cause for a party and cultural pride. by Laura Ciechanowski The

by Laura Ciechanowski

The Riverdale/Osborn Towers in East New York, four brick buildings arrayed around two concrete walkways, are as drab and unwelcoming as any high-rise housing project. Inside, however, hides an unexpected treasure: cozy, low-ceilinged offices fes- tooned with colorful posters and banners. This is the home of MUGAMA, an organization founded to stitch together and support the scattered members of one small and obscure Caribbean ethnic group, the Garifuna. "To tell my people that nothing is impossible, that the Ameri- can dream is attainable-that has been my goal ," says Dionisia Amaya, one of MUGAMA's founders. Amaya's people are the Garifuna-a marginalized ethnic group in Honduras and Belize that has quietly settled in New York City over the last 60 years. MUGAMA, which stands for Mujeres Garinagu en Marcha, or Garinagu Women on the March, aims to


help Garifuna New Yorkers succeed in their new country. (Gari- nagu is plural for Garifuna.) In borrowed classrooms at schools in Brooklyn and the Bronx, MUGAMA offers GED and English instruction, and provides small college scholarships. The organization offers something else, too: A means for a speck of 50,000 people among New York's welter of imntigrant . groups to find a balance between the need to assimilate and the desire to preserve a distinct cultural heritage. On April 12, MUGAMA is holding its annual celebration of that heritage and the unlikely events that ultimately brought the Garifuna to New York. More than two centuries ago, their ances- tors waged a 40-year war with the British, who tried and failed to enslave a group of Africans on the Caribbean island of St. Villcent. The British, unable to subdue these feisty people, drove them off the island instead, giving rise to the Garifuna's proudest moment. They celebrate Garifuna Survival Day with music, dance and commemoration. These festivities bring Garifuna from different countries





with flair

for her


-and a



5 0 ,000


Being part of a tiny g r o u p I n a big city

Being part of a tiny group In a big city isn't easy. "The U.S. believes in numbers," says a Garifuna historian.


together, says Felix Miranda, an expert on Gariflma history who works as an admin- istrator for the New York City Transit Authority. That way, this minute ethnic grouplet prevents its identity from being "watered down," he says. New York's Garifuna are well aware that most New Yorkers don't know any- thing about their culture or even that they exist. Being part of a tiny group in a big city isn't easy. "The United States believes in numbers ," Miranda observes. "The

greater your voice is in the city, the greater

the chance

Isidora Benedith of the Bronx agrees that invisibility is difficult. "I see many very large groups of people who can move the city with parades and all that stuff," she

says. Benedith volunteers teaching aGED preparation class for MUGAMA, with the idea of helping her people take some of their first steps toward visibility and power. "I think we are almost anonymous people doing small things. But it's worth it," she laughs.

''They couldn't stand that this group of people refused to be controlled," says Amaya proudly. "So they decided to deport us." After a long sea journey, most ended up in Honduras, while others settled in Belize and Nicaragua. There, they faced marginalization, discrimination and worse. In 1937, a govern- ment-backed massacre tore through Hon- duran villages. More recently, officials have used Hurricane Mitch as an excuse to dis- place Garifuna from beachfront areas with lucrative tourism potential. ''We need to get a better understanding of what these people suffefed," Miranda says. ''When you think about the little things we take for granted, you begin to realize how important that is."

is of getting things done: '

M UGAMA's attempts to reach out to Garifuna New Yorkers are essential to maintaining the com- munity's cohesiveness, says J.A.

George Irish, director of the Caribbean Research Center at Medgar Evers College. "[MUGAMA] are very well organized, and they are community-based," Irish says. ''They have a strong s se of connection with the average working-class e not one of those paper-based groups." ir perseverance, New York's Garifuna still face dif-

G arifuna first came to New York in the 1930s. A seafar- ing people, they arrived as merchant marines during World War II. Today, they live in the South Bronx, eas em Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Most first-generation Garinagu have footholds on the first rungs of the economy, working in long-hour, low-pay jobs like home health care, housekeeping and construction. The children of earlier waves work as school teachers, police officers and other professionals. But until three teachers founded MUGAMA in 1989, New York's Garifuna did not have an institution to tie them together. They have no restaurants , shops or community centers of their own where people can gather. ''This is our acculturation," Amaya shouts over blasts of furi- ous percussion at a February benefit for MUGAMA's scholarship fund, held at a Jamaica, Queens, banquet hall. She motions toward the women gathered around her, all wearing formal dresses as they dance to a live band playing traditional Garifuna music. Nearly 150 guests danced until 3 a.m., with couples young and old taking the floor, laughing. The women were invited to model their dresses for the ~rowd, forming a conga line fashion show. Over the loud music IJSe shouts in Spanish and Garifuna-a mix of African Bantu, English, Spanish, Portuguese and French. Like any immigrant group, the Garifuna have to make hard choices between preserving their heritage and embracing assimi- lation. In their history, they have a particularly compelling reason to look both ways, into both the past and the future. Garifuna ancestors include Bantu tribespeople brought to St. Vincent by British slave-traders. There, the Bantu surprised their captors by taking refuge with the island 's indigenous residents, with whom they soon intermarried. Though the British spent decades trying to enslave the Garifuna, their attempts failed bloodily. In 1797, the British threw them off the island.

ficulties co on to immigrant groups, including financial strug- gles, langua e .ers and jobs with little room for advancement.

ded to offer them a better chance.

was fo

Amay a retired . ance counselor with a master's degree from Bf College, wan ect to see other Garifuna succeed in the U.S. The most important step toward that, she says, is education. With this organization, "we are opening up to any woman who wants to excel;' Amaya says, "and help our community, especial- ly our youth. I wanted to tell [other Garinagu] that if! was able to achieve all of these goals, everybody else can." MUGAMA began with next to no resources or experience. When it was first starting up, the group met in Amaya's Brooklyn basement and used her home answering machine to take the orga- nization 's phone calls. Its English as a Second Language and GED classes, offered mainly on weekends, are still taught by teachers working pro bono, help Amaya says is becoming harder to find. The organization's small budget, she says, prevents MUGAMA from offering as many classes as they had hoped. The group hopes to expand to offer social services like employment aid and health information. It has grown slowly, however, not unusual for a grassroots organization serving lower- income people. Since 1996, MUGAMA has been largely funded by a grant from the New York Foundation, which provides $35,000 of the group's roughly $40,000-a-year budget. Maria Mottola, a program director for the foundation, says she was impressed with MUGAMA's ability to remain close to its base. While the organization used the bulk of its funding to hire a staff coordinator, it continues to be led and run almost entirely by volunteers.

Mottola says that Garifuna were much more comfortable getting




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services from organizations staffed by people from their own com- munity. "MUGAMA is filling a need that larger groups don't," she says. "It is their own organization: They are the leaders of the orga- nization, the founders of the organization and the staffers of the organization. They are serving members of their own community- that's where their strength is." As they become more integrated into city Garifuna are increasingly aware that they have their culture and language alive. "Assimilation is always there," says Jose Avil company that provides financial and immigration ·ces. '"The younger generation tends to assimilate; the youth tends to identi- fy more with being black." Avila says that he became aware of the significance of his Garifuna heritage only after he began research-

of his Garifuna heritage only after he began research- ing it as a student in his

ing it as a student in his late teens. But with a spike in immigration in the 1990s, young Gari- funa are increasingly embracing their identity, says Irish. "When you ' re small in numbers, the easiest thing to do is to blend in. The increase in immigration to the U.S. has been helpful [for the Garifunal to see themselves as a distinct group." One sign of that revival is the formation of Libaiia Baba-a group of Hunter College students who work to pro- mote Garifuna awareness. Felix Miranda agrees that the rebound of Garifuna pride is extremely important. But he also points out that it's just a starting place. "Certain situations bring people together and make us cohe- sive," he says. "What we need now is to galvanize the cohesive- ness in order to make a mark." •


, dete eve ~e Bible • • IS 0 ItS.
~e Bible

By Lisa Tozzi

I t breaks John Vanier's heart to read the letters he receives from his students, asking when English classes will start again. "I miss you and our classes," writes one. "I pray for you. Please continue to pray for us here." The writer of the letter is a 21-year-old woman from Cameroon, and "here," for her, is the

Immigration and Naturalization Service detention center in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where she has been held since last summer. For nearly a year, Vanier journeyed once a week from his job as a Spanish teacher at Brooklyn's I.S. 383 to the Elizabeth center, where nearly 300 people are confined while waiting for their applications for political asylum to clear. He is one of 10 or so volunteers organized by Jesuit Refugee ServiceJUSA to teach weekly English classes to Elizabeth's anxious and bored detainees. Then suddenly, this past November, the INS canceled the classes, along with a week- ly Bible study. The INS cited reasons that would seem unreal-except that they were agency policy. First, in an English class, students wrote about their experiences as detainees. Then during a Bible study session, detainees talked about a scripture passage that mentions the word "prisoner." The INS considers merely talking about the concept of imprisonment in a detention center a security risk, and it maintains that these seem- ingly innocuous incidents were dangerous-so dangerous that the meetings had to end. The English and Bible classes were the first programs of their kind at the center- baby steps in the ongoing effort across the nation to provide social services to asylum- seekers in INS custody. That this groundbreaking program was blossoming in the Elizabeth facility-{fubbed the "worst immigration detention center in the nation" by

APRIL 2000

Officials at this New Jersey immigTation detention center have shut down classes that prooided relief from fear and monotony.

this New Jersey immigTation detention center have shut down classes that prooided relief from fear and


o Entry


a New Jersey congressman after a 1995 riot shut it down-was par- ticularly noteworthy. The program was actually doing so well that Jesuit Refugee Services was hoping to start a similar initiative at the INS detention center near Kennedy Airport. But now the Queens program has been put on indefinite hold, and Vanier and other JRS volunteers have not been able to teach in Elizabeth since the INS's decision. Will Coley, Jesuit Refugee Services project director for New Jersey, says the agency over- reacted, quashing a promising and popular program because of a misunderstanding. He recalls that when the classes began, INS officials did ask his volunteers to refrain from initiating discus- sions about detention. Coley says while he and his volunteers respect INS conditions, the gag rule is tricky to uphold, since detainees are naturally inclined to talk about their experiences. "We never set out to talk about detention, but when someone comes up to you and asks you questions, it's hard to ignore them," explains Coley. "Detainees are people. They have questions about their situations ." The collapse of the program has been devastating to JRS, the detainees in Elizabeth, and to the volunteers-some of them for- mer detainees themselves-who taught classes and continue to visit regularly. The men and women at this detention center have no known criminal records; most ended up there after arriving at Kennedy or Newark airports requesting asylum because of fear of persecution in their homelands, countries like Sri Lanka, China, Albania and Nigeria. Volunteers say the classes were a much- needed break from the monotony of deten- tion, where asylum-seekers spend days star- ing at a blaring television or sitting alone in

windowless dorms, lost in thought, trying to comprehend how they ended up behind bars when all they were seeking was freedom. It's a dim and confusing world, where "out- door" recreation takes place in a big room with an open-air skylight.

released in December by INS Newark district director Andrea 1. Quarantillo. "Jesuit Refugee Services broke the covenant that had been reached with INS," it read. "The program of English classes, pastoral visits and Bible study was initiated to provide detainees

with a positive outlet for their energies that would not deal with detention issues. It was understood by all parties that detention issues would not be topics for discussion." Quarantillo added that the INS "has no objection to Matthew 25 or any other Bible passage and does not seek to censor them. We only request that detention issues not be included in the lesson plans." To immigration advocates, the INS decision appears to be a disheartening step backward. In 1995, an escape attempt escalat- ed into a riot over inhumane conditions at Elizabeth-an INS

report later found that guards wer detainees already agitated over long ai or

uprising, asylum-seekers seized con 01 of e center, .ch at the time was run by a private operator, mor rrecti Services. The disturbance led the INS to cl e the fa " t and it prompt- ed the agency to examine its use of p 'vate corr 'ons companies. After kicking out Esmor, imrnigratio official pened the Eliza- beth center in 1997 under new manag . Nashville-based Cor- rections Corporation of America, the nation's largest private prison operator. The INS and CCA promised to transform Elizabeth into a national model. By agreeing to JRS ' proposal to hold English classes and Bible study, the INS hoped to stave off asylum-seekers' frequent- ly reported feelings of helplessness and frus- tration. The idea was to give detainees

something to do besides sleep, eat and wait. But since the center reopened, problems have resurfaced, including two hunger strikes and several suicide attempts by pris- oners frustrated with their confinement. Fleeing war-tom lands and life-threaten- ing situations, many asylum-seekers arrive in the United States without documenta- tion-and without papers, they must be detained, under the 1996 Immigration Reform Act. Proponents of those reform measures say the rule deters immigrants from making false claims in order to gain asylum. But immigration advocates say the law is unduly harsh, forcing asylum-seekers to live in prison settings for unspecified peri- ods of time. Since the law was passed, the INS has nearly doubled its total detention capacity.The agency does not keep statistics on how many asylum-seekers are currently in custody, but corrections and ilrurllgnrtion experts believe ilrurllgnrtion detainees are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. prison population. The INS eschews the term "prison" or "jail" to describe its detention facilities, but volunteers like Vanier who regularly visit the Elizabeth Detention Center say there is no other way to describe the setting. There


and h assing g the

A day after detainees heard a passage from Matthew's Gospel, INS officials halted the classes.

T he trouble all started with an inno-

cent mistake, says Jesuit Refugee

Services. A JRS volunteer asked

her English students to write up

evaluations of the English program, which were to be shared with participants at a con- ference of immigrants' rights organizations. But the volunteer didn't realize she was crossing the line when she invited her stu- dents to describe their experiences of deten- tion as part of their evaluations. Then at Bible study the next day, anoth-

er volunteer was discussing that week's scripture readings. In the selection, from Matthew's Gospel, Jesus instructs his fol- lowers to comfort those in prison: "For I was .a stranger and you welcomed me,

naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared

visited me." A day

for me, in prison and you

later, INS halted the JRS program. The agency's only public comment on the matter has been a brief statement


are clanging doors and metal detectors; handc s and shackles; wardens and guards. On the

are clanging doors and metal detectors; handc s and shackles; wardens and guards. On the rare oc a .on a etainee receives a visitor, the two are required to sit on p s' sides of a Plexiglas window and talk through a phone. " It blew my mind the first time 1 vi d," says Janet Wise, a social worker and volunteer with e . ers e Church Sojourners Ministry, which works with JRS . H e is a erson who is nonvi- olent and she is treated like a har re, conv! ted criminal." Carol Fouke, Sojourners Ministry co-ch says the painful reality of the detainees is hard to comprehend. e folks on the inside are real heroes. They fled really brutal circumstances and are seeking a better life for themselves. They are really survivors. They are noncriminals who find themselves locked up and they don't understand why."

themselves locked up and they don't understand why." JRS ' Coley says he is hopeful that

JRS ' Coley says he is hopeful that immigration officials will allow his organization to resume classes at the Elizabeth Deten- tion Center, and he has submitted a proposal to do so. Agency spokeswoman Lynn Durko says the INS is "examining proposals" from various organizations interested in reinstating English and Bible study. Asked if the Jesuit group might be allowed to resume classes, Durko says only, "If they sent a proposal, they are being considered."

. So for now, Vanier has only his students' letters, which relate how much they miss the intellectual and spiritual nourishment the classes provided. "It was so important to the students; ' he says. "It was a rare chance for them to really socialize with one another." •

Lisa Tozzi is a Manhattan-based freelnnce writer.

They've been through

hell. N ow they're alone

in N e

By Karen Kamins y

Vork City.

they're alone in N e By Karen Kamins y Vork City. experience of seeking asylum in

experience of seeking asylum in the United States is profoundly unsettling . Propelled by forces outside their control, asylum- seekers come escaping persecution, seeking safety. But unlike refugees-who arrive in the U.S. under the auspices of resettle- ment agencies that link them up with housing, social services, English classes and employment-the asylum-seeker makes a solitary and uncertain journey. If, like Hadjab and Patrice, they arrive without proper travel doc- uments, their first impressions of the U.S. are grim. At Kennedy Air- port, asylum-seekers are routinely shackled to a bench until they are transferred to the nearby detention facility in Jamaica, Queens; another center in Elizabeth, New Jersey, houses those who arrive at Newark. There, they are strip-searched and given prison uniforms, incarcerated while their asylum claims are pending. Though federal guidelines allow asylum-seekers to be released while their cases are pending, New York-area INS offices generally ignore them. Once granted asylum, they are left on their own to adjust to a new language and culture, find work, deal with the traumas they have experienced, and build a new life. Some three years after hav-

Sitting in a pastry shop in As oria,

jab recalls the first adjustment h had t

ed asylum

a problem with my vision for three days. 1 had to go he rubs his eyes hard. "I couldn ' t see clearly." Hadjab had been held in an Immigration and Naturalization Service detention center since he left Algeria for the United States three months earlier. The vision problems he encountered are not uncommon . Patrice*, who was granted asylum in September, also remembers that when he first left detention, "I had a bit of vertigo, and everything was blurry." Months of confinement without access to natural daylight takes its toll in unforeseen ways. It's not just light deprivation that proves disorienting-the very

in April 1997 . ''When 1 e outside," h sa s, ''1 had

. ''When 1 e outside," h sa s, ''1 had * Not his real name. He

* Not his real name. He fears offending the INS, which he is still count- ing on for his green card, and for approval to bring over his family.

APRIL 2000

the INS, which he is still count- ing on for his green card, and for approval

ing been granted asylum, Hadjab, now 29, is still trying to find his way. He has lived in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania with a variety of roommates: an Egyptian, a Vietnamese family, and, currently, with three fellow Algerians . He has held a dozen or more jobs, and among other places has worked at a print shop, a tool factory, two 7-Elevens, a restaurant, a clothing store, and a sausage shop-this last job lasting only one day. "I couldn't sup- port it-the smell was so bad in there," he says. For the past several months, he has worked as a driver for a car service, seven days a week, 12 hours a day, from 6 p.m. until 6 in the morning, sometimes longer. He eats in the car, and when he isn't working, he tries to get some sleep. "I don't know how this

he tries to get some sleep. "I don't know how this Unwilling immigrant Abdelmalek Hadjab arrived

Unwilling immigrant Abdelmalek Hadjab arrived in America twice: first to INS detention, and then to an alienating new city.


happened, how I came to live here," he says, still trying to sort everything out. He says it makes him too sad to speak of what happened in Algeria, but then reconsiders generously, "I will tell you if you like. We had a hundred thousand people killed in six years in Algeria." Among them were Hadjab's two sisters and brother. Now, only he and his mother are left; she has found safety in France. The losses hang over him like a cloud. He had intended to seek asylum in Canada, but on a layover · in New York, immigration officials stopped him. They gave him a choice: return to Algeria, or enter detention to pursue an asy- lum claim. "I figure, OK, I go to see a judge, maybe spend two

or three days in prison," Hadjab recalls. He spent the night shackled to a chair at the airport, then was transported to Eliza- beth at 10 the next morning. He remained there not three days, but three months. Patrice, too, was en route to Canada when he was stopped at Kennedy, shackled, and brought to detention. He had fled his African country, where he'd been imprisoned for political activi- ties, and had left behind four children and his pregnant wife. "I was in prison in my country," he says. "And then I was in prison in the U.S. I would watch the news in detention, especially New York 1, and they would say this one was shot, this one was robbed. And I would think, there, on the outside, there are criminals; and we, who are not criminals, are on the inside, in prison." Imprisoned asylum-seekers still try to hang onto the idea of

America as a land of opportunity. The hope sustains them while they wait; explains Patrice, "Everyone talks how when you get out you [will] have money, you have home, you have job." But though he has landed work as a security guard and his attorney helped him find temporary housing, Patrice is still trying to·find his place. "When you get out, it's another struggle. Once I arrived here, I was safe, but everything I came to know was vast- ly different from what I had imagined." He has now been out of

detention for

difficult. The four months to issu .s work permit. Red

tape delayed his ~ility et food starnp, and other transitional assistance . He even had to e sever visits to a health clinic

before getting the tu

being exposed to the ·sease while etention. For detainees lucky nough to h e resentation (and not all

are), their attorneys

world. "On the day I was re eased, Mary carne get me," reca\1s Hadjab. Mary McClenahan, his attorney from th atholic Legal Immigration Network, found him a room at the . "Everything good that happens here is because of Mary," he says. "She's nice. She's one of the good things in this country." Hadjab has found other saving graces, too, including a Spanish-speaking cleaning woman at the detention facility who bought him a celebratory Pepsi when she saw him in the waiting room, preparing to leave; the openness and diversity of America; his opportunity to join with advocates in Washington last Novem- ber to talk to members of Congress about detention; even the INS office in Nebraska, where his green card application is pending and where, unique among INS offices, a human being answers the phone and responds to questions. ''There are nice people in Nebraska," Hadjab says. "Maybe 1'\1 go live there." But his green card is still a couple of years away; his sense of dislocation is constant, particularly as he drives people around New York. Hadjab tells of a passenger he drove from Sutton Place to the airport; she got into his car, commanding him to make the trip fast and safe. He joked with her: "I can get you there safe, but not fast; or fast, but not safe. Fast and safe? It doesn't happen." Hadjab knows that he has found safety, but at an extraordinary cost. "With no family, I don't feel great," he says. "Sometimes I feel guilty for what happened to my family. I keep to myself at those times." He adds, smiling, "You are lucky I was OK to come talk with you today. I'm not searching to be famous for this stuff-just for people to know what's going on." •

rculosis ill ·cati n he was prescribed after

months, and the transi . n as been lonely and

prov e virt y their link to the outside

Karen Kaminsky is a Manhattan-based freelance dation consultant on immigrant issues.

writer andfoun-



o Entry

New York's red carpet for refugees: red tape.

By Jill Grossman

Last summer, a military base in New Jersey welcomed 4,000 refugees from Kosovo. Most decided to go back to the Balkans in the end, to piece their lives and country back together. For some of those who decided to settle in New York, though, another har- rowing tour awaited-this time through city's welfare s stem.

name) arrived . w Jersey w her

teenage twin daughters and son after fie ing osovo w en her husband was taken prisoner by the Serb . Sh was a igned a case worker at Catholic Charities, a resettl ment en that pro- vides federally funded support and service during ugees' first few months in the U.S. A $1,080 grant r hous' ,food and other expenses took the family through i fir mo th in the Bronx. But medical problems, diagnosed by doctor Jacobi Medical Center as psychological trauma and hypertension, made it difficult for Katya to find work. So, armed with a referral letter from Catholic Charities and accompanied by a relative already living in New York, Katya went to a Bronx job center to apply for refugee resettlement cash assis- tance. Under federal law, that entitled her to eight months of finan- cial support at the same level as a city welfare check.

The confusion that followed is familiar to many poor New Yorkers who rely on the city's welfare offices to help them through rough times. In broken English, Katya's relative explained to ajob center caseworker that Katya was sick and needed food. Misunderstanding the standard resettlement

agency letter, which explained Katya's eligibility for public assistance, the caseworker sent Katya around the comer to apply for one month's worth of emergency food stamps. There, a Human Resources Administration worker told Katya to return with a phone bill and other papers so that the food stamps could begin-instructions Katya did not understand. ''They did not say the magic word: Wel- fare," says Sokhear Tan, one of two case- workers at Catholic Charities who help reset- tle refugees. ''The [HRA] caseworkers don't explain what is available. They expect the client to say what they need, but they don't know the vocabulary." Tan says that short staffing prevented him from going with Katya to the center that day. Katya never got the food stamps, and by the time she told Catholic Charities about the situation, her case had been closed. The volunteer group is picking up the tab for four months rent and other costs while the family goes through the application process again.

I t was never supposed to be like this. The 1996 federal wel- fare refonn law was particularly harsh on immigrants, bar- ring most of them from benefits. But the feds made an exception for those facing persecution, maintaining the safe-

ty net of cash and medical benefits that had been helping refugees for decades. But in some cases, say resettlement workers, their clients aren't getting the support they need to make a new life. "Cases are closed and not explained in their language," says Doris Hohman, acting director of migration services at Catholic Charities. Too often, she says, bureaucratic delays, miscommunications between federal and city agencies and misunderstood resettlement policies leave refugees without the funds they need. Refugees represent 2 percent of HRA's family caseload and 7 percent of the single adults on public assistance. Yet according to refugee advocates, city welfare workers have little to no information about how to handle refugees. Complains Hohman, ''There's no ori- entation, and there is no consistent set of policies."

Snags abound. INS information can take a long time to reach HRA's computers, making it difficult for some refugees to prove

their eligibility for welfare. And confusion reigns regarding work requirements; some welfare offices incorrectly tell refugees that they will not have time to take English classes in addition to their workload, while others tell them, just as misleadingly, that they do not have to work at all. In fact, refugees are held to the same requirements as all welfare recipients. Of course, refugees also face the same obstacle course as every other applicant They may wait for a caseworker for hours, only to be told that they must come back a week later because paperwork is missing from their file. They also share other welfare applicants'

frustrations with a dearth of translation ser- vices. Last spring, four immigration advoca- cy groups, with the endorsement of 23 others, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services citing the city's failure to provide qualified interpreter ser- vices for Spanish-speaking welfare clients. Following an investigation, the HHS's Office of Civil Rights found that HRA's job and welfare centers violate federal anti-dis- crimination laws. In its ruling, the federal agency noted that New York's public assis- tance offices often lacked interpreters and failed to translate documents or signs-steps the law requires. The ruling also clarified that under the federal Civil Rights Act, all partici- pants in HHS programs must receive the same treatment and opportunities, meaning that every client who walks into a welfare center must receive explanations of the ser- vices available to them in a language they can

Katya (not her real


welfare workers have little information

about how

to handle refugees.

APRIL 2000

they can Katya (not her real City welfare workers have little information about how to handle

Ifoints o Entry

clearly understand. HHS has rejected state and city proposals for adding translation services and is now in the process of drafting its own plan.

T he confusion denies essential resources to a vulnerable group of people. While private refugee resettlement agencies say that their first goal is to help refugees find jobs, the reality is that almost half of New York's

refugees rely on some form of public assistance. Though numbers vary widely among immigrant groups-66 percent of Southeast Asian refugees, compared with 13 percent of Eastern Euro- peans-42 percent of all refugees statewide collected welfare in the mid 1990s. Providing resettlement services to 2,900 refugees last year alone, the New York Association for New Americans is well aware of how inadequately the welfare bureaucracy serves its clients. Even before the Giuliani administration set out to discourage applicants for public assistance, the 50-year-old agency helped draft a proposal to take the refugee business out of the city's hands. The agency wanted to handle case management itself, without having its clients deal with HRA at all. The idea, says NYANA Executive Vice President Mark Handleman, was to "offer better results to move people to employment." The plan was never implemented. But NYANA has pressed on, and it looks like it might finally prevail. HRA confirms that it has been talking about opening a welfare office at 17 Battery Place, NYANA's headquarters. The agency is hardly out of favor at the welfare agency: This winter, it was awarded a $12.4 million job-

training contract. And the picture may soon get brighter for all refugees with the February debut of HRA's new refugee resettlement office. Its director, Toyo Biddle, is no newcomer to these issues; as director of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement for 19 years, she was one of the authors of the regulations guaranteeing public assistance for refugees. An agency spokesperson describes the creation of the office as an extension of HRA's specialized ser- vices for people with special needs, including those dealing with AIDS, disabilities and domestic violence. Welfare rights watchdog Liz Krueger of the Community Food Resource Center commends HRA for realizing that "one size usually fits none" and providing such specialized oversight. However, she observes, the city's welfare clients are "a universe any, many specialized populations," all of whom need more

ceo"I want to raise the standard for evelY:-

omp ensive as~

ody," sh


Catholic ari es' Doris Hohman recently learned of the new making a call to HRA to find out what was on with and state efforts to provide public assistance to

Biddle as a positive addition, she says, "At

least there's an avenue now for these discussions ."

Hohman believes Biddle has a colossal task ahead of her. Until some real coordination takes place among resettlement agencies and government offices, she contends, refugees will continue to suffer lapses in support. "It's one of these falling between the cracks Catch-22 situations," Hohman maintains. "I mean, it's a

challenge to most Americans." •



Housing brings Richmond

Hill's Indo--Caribbea s into


the new world of


By Jyoti Thottam

T revor Rupnarain remembers his first encounter with the

Democratic machine as a rude political awakening.

Rupnarain, a lawyer originally from Guyana, was chair-

ing a Democratic club meeting last year in Richmond

Hill, Queens. The meeting was intended as a forum on police bru- tality. But to his dismay, says Rupnarain, a local politician instead tried to tum it into a meet-and-greet session for one of her proteges. "It took me all the way back home," he says now. "I saw this as a Guyana situation again. I thought that we should stand up." Rupnarain, 38, came of age during a tumultuous period in Guyana, when blacks and Indians were competing for political

control of the COlJIltry. Like thousands of other Indo-Caribbeans- people descended from Indian immigrants who grew up in Guyana and Trinidad-he left a society where he felt shut out for

the promise of life in the United ,ates. Now, after 14 years in New York'city, Rupnarain felt that same sense of exclusion. Politically, his district is dominated by

African-Americans. The newly established Indo-Caribbean com- munity does not yet have a political voice. Spurred by that old feeling, Rupnarain has decided to run for City Council. The specific issue that propelled him into public life is a racially tinged struggle over housing, hinging on a new City Council bill designed to crack down on Queens residents who ille- gally rent out apartments in their homes. Up until recently, says Rupnarain, "politics had never entered my mind. But being in a leadership position changes your vision of things." Rupnarain, along with State Assembly hopeful Taj Rajkumar, is

one of the first

ing Indo-Caribbean community. This ethnic enclave may be one of New York's newest, but-thanks to the fight over apartment conver- sions-it is also becoming one of the most organized. As a result,

viable political candidates from New York's burgeon-


Rupnarain, the accidental politician, may become one of the first immigrants to breach the established power structures of Queens.

T he gregarious

youngest child in a family of nine, Rup-

narain went to law school in neighboring Trinidad at the

urging of his professors, who pegged the future of

Guyana's Indian community on its involvement in pol-

itics. Rather than remaining an isolated business class, they thought, Guyanese Indians needed to have a political voice. But as a young lawyer in Georgetown, Guyana, Rupnarain grew bored with the endless stream of small cases. "It was like, this guy stole my chicken , and I want to sue him," he said from his office on Liberty Avenue, in the heart of the Indo-Caribbean enclave of Richmond Hill. "I wasn' t thrilled." Most of his family had already emigrated to New York, so at 24, Rupnarain joined them. At first, 10 of them lived together in a small apartment in the Bronx. Within four years, Rupnarain had saved

enough money working as a paralegal to buy his parents a house in Rorida. By 34, he had set up a private practice in Richmond Hill. Initially, Rupnarain had little contact with other Guyanese. Although he shared their ethnic and regional background, he was disconnected from the large community of Indo-Caribbeans in Queens. His family had come from the Berbice region of Guyana, near the capital, while most Guyanese in New York immigrated from the more rural Demerara region. "They were a different set of people to me," he said. "I wouldn ' t know them back home." But then Rupnarain opened an office on Liberty Avenue, where the bakeries sell hot roti and stores blare soca music. Indo- Caribbean immigrants, the descendants of Indian laborers in the 18th-century British colonies of Guyana and Trinidad, have trans- formed the formerly Irish and Italian neighborhoods of Richmond Hill and Ozone Park into the heart of Indo-Caribbean New York. Between 1990 and 1996, more than 30 percent of the immigrants to these neighborhoods came from Guyana. Their business, especially real estate transactions, quickly became Rupnarain 's bread and butter. By 1997, he was president of the Queens Caribbean Bar Association, and he was frequently asked to speak on behalf of Indo-Caribbeans to the media and elected officials. He testified before the City Council about amnesty for undocumented immigrants and pe organize the community's response to the 998 bea ' g, allegedly racially motivated, of an Indo-Caribbe ena . Rupnarain found himself ttin He and Ed Ahmad, a pro . ent New Concept Democratic lub bo Rupnarain, local politicians donations. Finally, after t frustrating police brutality forum, Rupnarain began to consider running for City Council himself, setting his sights on the seat Thomas White will vacate in 200 l. In some ways, Indo-Caribbeans are an unlikely immigrant group to emerge as leaders in New York's new ethnic politics. Most are relatively new immigrants, and many are not yet regis- tered to vote. Yet Indo-Caribbeans have two important factors in their favor. For one thing, they are geographically concentrated:

More than half of all the immigrants from Guyana and Trinidad who came to Queens in the early 1990s settled in a small cluster of neighborhoods in Richmond Hill, Ozone Park and Woodhaven. The Indo-Caribbean community has also been more united than some other immigrant groups trying to get a political foothold in the city. Immigrants from India, for example, are atomized along

city. Immigrants from India, for example, are atomized along APRIL 2000 language, religiou s and regional

APRIL 2000

language, religiou s and regional lines. By contrast, Indo- Caribbeans may be Christian, Muslim or Hindu, but they all speak English and share a common path of migration, from northern India to the Caribbean and then to New York. Most of Richmond Hill's Indo-Caribbeans come from Guyana, with about a third from Trinidad. Intermarriage between the two groups is common, according to Dolly Hassan, director of the Liberty Center for Immigration, a nonprofit advocacy group for immigrants based in Richmond Hill . 'They see themselves as allies now that they've made this second journey," says Hassan, a native of Guyana. The Indo-Caribbean society "has that latent level of organiza- tion and mobilization," says Roger Sanjek, a professor of anthro- pology at Queens College who has written extensively about eth-

at Queens College who has written extensively about eth- nic politics in New York City. Many

nic politics in New York City. Many Queens neighborhoods are a patchwork of different immigrant groups, explains Sanjek. But in Richmond Hill, Indo-Caribbeans predominate, giving them a nat- ural political advantage.

T he primary galvanizing force for Indo-Caribbeans has been the fight over illegal apartment conversions. Immigrants flock to neighborhoods with affordable housing, and in Richmond Hill, affordable often means

illegal. Many of the residential buildings in Western Queens are

one- and two-family houses, but with a tight housing market and a growing population, landlords have been surreptitiously con-

In his City

Council bid,


politician Trevor


focuses on


housing issues.



Richmond Hill, affordable housing is often illegal housing. But for Rupnarain, focusing on illegal conversIons could prove

a double



illegal conversIons could prove • a double edged sword. verting these homes into multifamily apartment buildings,

verting these homes into multifamily apartment buildings, usually with basement apartments. Queens civic groups have complained for years that these illegal apartments overload municipal services and create dangerous firetraps, and Borough President Claire Shulman has been listening. Last year, she set up a task force of borough civic leaders who worked with her legal staff and the staff of Jackson Heights Councilman John Sabini to devise a tougher enforcement plan. The fruit of their work is Intro 363, a bill currently before the City Council that would give the city new tools against illegal apartments, such as requiring buyer, seller and real estate agent to certify that a home has no illegal units. The bill enjoys the strong support of Council Democ- rats-including powerful Housing Committee Chairman Archie Spigner-who depend on the proven political weight of the civic groups that helped draft it. While the borough's politicians may be loath to cross landlords on other issues, illegal conversions are the number-one com- plaint for the borough's longtime, middle-class residents, the ones most likely to vote. But Indo-Caribbeans have mounted a serious chal- lenge to this bill. They want city lawmakers to recognize that illegal apartments fill a real need for affordable hous- ing, both for the tenants who need cheap rents and for the homeowners who use rental income from basement apart- ments to meet their mortgages. So when members of the Queens Civic Congress gathered on the steps of City Hall last November to call on the Council to "preserve their quality of life," five busloads of protesters thronged near- by sidewalks, condemning the bill as racist and unfairly targeted at immigrants. "It was the first time that I actually saw people coming together and going downtown to City Hall to protest," Hassan says. "The basement issue is a magnet that pulled people together." lllegal conversions have emerged as the central politi-

cal issue for Rupnarain, who testified against the new bill in front of the City Council. "As a lawyer I can't help those who are going in the basement or the landlords who are renting the basements," he says. "The laws are there to be observed. The only way that I could help them is through the political process." Rupnarain advocates more affordable housing and better education on fire safety. At the very least, he wants a prohibition on the invasive evening and weekend inspections that local homeowners particularly resent. Rupnarain has criticized Shulman for not having included Indo-Caribbean leaders in the initial planning and drafting of the bill. He shies away from the more extreme arguments against Intro 363--one of his colleagues likened it to "Gestapo tactics"-but says the feeling of being targeted and excluded is very real. "I don't feel the bill itself is racist," he says. "I think they mean well. But they've acted without dialogue in the community." The issue offers Rupnarain recognition. His campaign, which has raised more than $34,000 in the last six months, gets its strongest momentum from opponents of the bill, like real estate brokers worried that the proposition may scare off

potential homebuyers. ''The city of New York and its representa- tives have more to gain economically by introducing some con- cessions," says real estate broker Ahmad, one of Rupnarain's clos- est allies. Ahmad advocates making a distinction in the law between absentee landlords and owner-occupied buildings. Single-issue campaigns have thrust immigrants into politics in the past: The 1996 restrictions on government benefits to legal immigrants, for example, spurred a slow but steady increase in voter registration among Asian Americans, according to Margaret Fung, executive director of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. But for Rupnarain, focusing his campaign on Intro 363 and

apartment conversions could prove to be a dangerous double- edged sword. If he crusades against the bill, he risks alienating established power interests in the district. "People say it's racial. No-it's safety," insists Sirncha Weisman, president of the Rich- mond Hill Block Association. "You come to the United States of America, you live by the laws of the United States of America. This is somebody who wants to run for City Council? He's exploiting it. He took this as a platform for his campaign." Councilman Sabini levels a similar criticism at Rupnarain. "I don't know how you include people who are breaking the law on the face of it," he says. The other Indo-Caribbean candidate from the area, Taj Rajku- mar, is already distancing himself from illegal housing. Rajkumar is running this year in the 31st Assembly District against Assembly- woman Pauline Rhodd-Cummings, a native of Jamaica who is the first woman of Caribbean descen lected to the statehouse. Rajkumar, a professor at the orough of Manhattan Commu- nity College and former high sc 1teacher from Guyana, says he realizes he cannot rely just on ne issue or votes from one com-

munity. And i . largely

sense that Raj mar npl s race. (About 60 percent of the dis- trict's voters liv in the R aways .)

'can-American district, it makes

ar de in to discuss Intro 363 altogether,

emphasizing job tra" and ed ation instead. "My campaign is

about helping the poor, the needy,'

as an Indian versus black kind of c aign." Both candidates face a tough race if don't engage with vot- ers outside the Guyanese community. Rli d-Cummings, who is

black, has the support of the Rev. Floyd Flake, one of the most powerful black leaders in New York City. Flake is putting up anoth- er protege, York College administrator Anthony Andrews, to run for the City Council seat Rupnarain is targeting.

A compelling issue like Intro 363 may be "one way to rally

e says. "I hope it's not taken

In fact, Raj

them and to get people organized," Hassan says, "but I don't know that that's going to be enough to swing the whole thing. They've got to be the candidate for everyone." Rupnarain admits that he may well lose this race. But even if Intro 363 doesn't win him the election, it seems to be stimulating the political birth of a community. Rupnarain says he's more con- cerned with coming back to fight in the future with an army of registered Indo-Caribbean voters behind him. "[Intro 363] happened at a very appropriate time," he says. "It created that consciousness that there is a need for political repre- sentation. They're paying some attention to us now." •

Jyoti Thottam is a reporter for the Times-Ledger newspaper in Queens.



Immobile Homes

A s the push to move welfare recipients to work acceler- ates, a recent study shows that accessibility to afford- able housing is critical to job success . In an analysis of

studies in several states that grant housing subsidies to families on welfare, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finds residents of subsidized housing have higher employment rates and wages than welfare families living in private homes. In Minnesota, the earnings of public housing and Section 8 ten- ants exceeded those of families in free-market homes by more

than 40 percent. The reasons: Families living in subsidized homes, suggests CBPP, are less likely to have financial problems that force them to move, and they have more disposable income for work-relat- ed costs like child care, transportation and clothing. By promot- ing stability, the center finds, housing subsidies can also lead children to do better in school d allow adults to sti with

children to do better in school d allow adults to sti with years, six states and

years, six states and two counties have used welfare fUnds to prove families ' housing situations as a way of helping them m e from welfare to work. This report tracks the success rates of programs, in Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, N Carolina, New Jersey, and California's Los Angeles and San ateo coun- ties, and the strategies they use to make housing m e afford- able, including tenant-based rental assistance and homeowner- ship grants for anywhere from one to five years. "The Increasing Use ofTANF and State Matching Funds to Provide Housing Assistance to Families Moving From Welfare to Work," $8, free at, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 202-408-1080.

Children of the Reform

W elfare reform has put about a million more .

children into day care. But even that doesn't take care of

all of those who nee<! it, according to a study from the

Citizens' Committee for Children. Surveying 47 New York fami- lies who had left welfare, they found 68 percent had no care for at least one child and only 30 percent succeeded in finding child care for all of their children. Twenty-five of the families had not worked at all since leaving welfare; inability to find child care topped the list of reasons, accounting for more than half of cases. Of the 18 who did find work, most were making above the min- imum wage-although one, who made $2.50 an hour, was pay- ing more per hour for child care than she was earning at her job. "Opportunities for Change: Lessons Leamedfrom Families Who Leave Welfare," Citizens' Committee for Children, 212- 673-1800,, $15.

Getting Organized

T he dramatic decline in union membership over the last 20

years has had much to do with a drop in wage earnings in

that same period, a new report concludes. Assessing the

state of organized labor, the Century Foundation points out that wages in the U.S. account for their lowest share of the national income since 1968, while union membership is smaller than that of almost every industrialized nation. While union members earn one-third more than nonmembers on average, unions don't just protect wages. The report asserts that dwindling unionization has contributedto income and wealth inequality, inadequate pensions and health insurance, and the growing public alienation from American politics. Ideas on how to fix labor include revising laws that allow companies to derail organizing campaigns. The authors also propose organizing outside traditional union models through devices like worker-owned companies, labor-led civil rights suits and regional economic strategies. "What's Next for Organized Laborl" Century Foundation Task Force on the Future of Unions, $11.95, 1-800-552-5450.

The Connection Between Unionization and Wages Union 30 Union members as a percent of total
The Connection Between Unionization and Wages
Union members as a percent of total nonfarm employment
As union membership has dropped
over the last few decades, so too
have wages. Unionworkers earn
significantly morethan nonunion
laborers, on average. And some
experts say that without anew
labor movement, inadequate
healthcare and apathytoward
American politics will continue.

APRIL 2000


REVIEW Jus Renew It By Gordon
Jus Renew It
By Gordon

I t happened to movies, magazines, and fashion. It w only a

matter of time before someone got nostalgic for 1970s

social policy. "It was rare to see people sleeping in door-

ways. Sweatshops were read about only in history books," writes Randy Shaw. "President Nixon signed into law the National Environmental Policy Act. This .is America in the 1970s, when social and economic injustices were still wide- spread but the nation was moving toward the equitable society envisioned in the ideals of its founders ." The 1970s, Golden Age, doesn't sound right somehow. Yet these lines are accurate. In the 1970s, strengthening neighbor- hoods was a front-burner issue. The New York Times and the newsweeklies routinely ran articles with headlines like "Here Come the Ethnics" and "Activist Neighborhood Groups are Becoming a New Political Force." The lecture circuit buzzed with theories on the "death of the cities" and how to keep them alive. President Jimmy Carter even appointed a commission to investigate the state of neighborhoods. (Its recommendations, released toward the end of his term, were never acted upon.) But urban America's problems fell off the national agenda as the climate for activism changed. Community development organizations focused on local issues and learned to influence national policy by relying on lobbyists and playing by the rules . Fewer and fewer people stood up for neighborhoods-and roll- backs of social policies and cutbacks in funding hit cities hard. Shaw says-and he's right-that neighborhood issues can

top the national agenda again. As the head of San Francisco 's Tenderloin Housing Coalition, he's in a good position to see both the need and the potential for a movement revival. Starting with anti-sweatshop work, Shaw looks at the activist move- ments that rippled through the U.S. in recent years. He outlines how organized people took on organized money-i .e., the Nike corporation-transforming the company's image from sneaker king to demon taskmaster of starving Asian children.

In another case study, the Asian Immigrant Women Advocates (AIWA) takes on bridal gown maker Jessica McClintock for running domestic sweatshops. Shaw also looks at campaigns against the Pentagon and the successful push by membership-based envi- ronmental organiza- tions, particularly the Public Interest Re- search Groups (PIRGs) and the Sierra Club, to get Congress to pass tougher Clean Air Act standards in 1997. Housing, jobs and education don't get the national play these campaigns did. Disarmament, ecology and Third World issues are the "sexy" topics in the media and on col- lege campuses for now. But Shaw is right that community- based organizations still need to coordinate advocacy on a national level; that could mean marches on Washington to roll back the worst provisions of welfare reform, pressing Congress to restore funding for tenant buyouts of HUD-sub- sidized housing or pushing the new national mega-banks to

pay attention to urban neighborhoods. The anti-Nike folks, the PIRGs and other recent success sto- ries share certain essential elements that Shaw would like to see community organizations adopt. One is a sense of shared objec- tives no matter where you live-a member of MassPIRG in Massachusetts works off the same agenda as a member of OSPIRG in Oregon when it comes to enhancing the Clean Air Act. Other key elements include media savvy and focus on a single, galvanizing national issue. Don't just aggressively mar-

advises ; keep the focus national by

providing regular analyses of what's going on with housing and other community development issues in Washington. Shaw's idea is like globalism for good guys. If corpora- tions can draw the world closer together, then groups working on social justice ought to be able to work together at the national level, too. Many groups capable of advocacy work don't do it, Shaw finds, out of fear or misunderstanding. When he surveyed exec- utive directors of San Francisco community organizations, Shaw found that respondents wanted, at least in theory, to do more advocacy but either didn't know what to do or believed that being a nonprofit barred them from doing it. Lack of famil- iarity with IRS rules was common, but Shaw sets them straight:

ket local successes, Shaw

Depending on the budget and size of their agencies , each respondent could easily devote up to $25 ,000 a year to advocate nationally. Multiplied over thousands of groups nationwide, that could create a significant budget to fund social-change projects. More effective organizing on bank mergers, housing policy, and other national issues would transform the climate for local organizing. That would mean more victories-and make it a whole lot easier for community-based advocates to achieve the high-minded goals of their mission statements. •

Gordon Mayer works at National Training and Information Center; a Chicago-based resource centerfor grassroots organizing.

works at National Training and Information Center; a Chicago-based resource centerfor grassroots organizing. CITY LIMITS


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With a focused strategy of support for com- munity development, the arts and the envi- ronment, Deutsche Bank partners with local organizations to build a brighter future.

Our commitment to a better tomorrow starts today.

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ciations and the development of open spaces; interface with community organ~ zations. Requirements: High school diploma plus some years of college. At least three years community organizing experience; strong verbal and written skills; computer skills a must. Salary: to $26,000; commensurate with experience. Excellent health benefits . Send resume to : B. Smith, ADC, 131 W. 138th Street, New York, NY 10030.

ORGANIZER. Alliance for a Working Economy, a new NYC labor/community coal~ tion, seeks an experienced organizer to advance campaigns that promote eco- nomic justice and progressive economic policy. The Alliance includes major NYC unions (including AFSCME, Carpenters, CWA and Unite!), community-based and low-wage/workfare worker organizations and policy advocacy groups. Solid expe- rience in labor or community organizing, excellent communications skillS essen- tial. Spanish, media work, fundraising a plus. Women and people of color encour- aged to apply. Full description at Fax resume and cover let- ter to AWE Organizer, 718-8574322.

The Center for Urban Community Services, Inc., a leading social service agency in providing services to low-income individuals, many of whom are mentally ill, have histories of homelessness, HIV/AIDS and substance abuse, has the following pos~ tions available at our supportive housing programs (SROs) located in Upper Manhattan: ASSIS1lINTTEAM LEADER. This position is responsible for individual and group services, case management, crisis intervention, and assisting the clinical coordinator in directing the activities of on-site core services team and program development. Requirements: MSW and direct service experience in mental health and/or homelessness. Additionally, this individual should have good written and verbal communications skills. Bilingual Spanish/English required. Salary:

$34K+comp bnfts. Send cover letter and resume to Michelle de la Uz, CUCS-The Rio, 10 Fort Washington Avenue, NY, NY 10032. aJNICAl. COORIIIIIATOR. Responsibilities include daily supervision and management of a clinical team com- prised of MSW~evel and para-professional staff; assist with program evaluation and development; ensure that all clinical services and documentation meet regu- latoryand agency standards and implement all site protocols, policies, and pro- cedures. This position must provide 2Mlour beeper coverage for three SROs serv- ing more than 100 tenants. Requirements: CSW, minimum of 4 years of applica- ble experience in social work with population served, including supervisory, admin- istrative and management experience. Salary: $45K comp bnfts including $65 in monthly transit checks. Bilingual Spanish/English encouraged to apply. Send cover letter and resume to Michelle de la Uz, CUCS-The Rio, 10 Fort Washington Avenue, NY, NY 10032. CUCS is committed to workforce diversity. EEO.

(continued on page 32)


ENTJT1 ADIIOC.4OIt'ORGIZER- The Rfth Ave. Committee, a Brooklyn com-

munity organization, is seeking an ENTJT1 AlMJCATI,QIGANIZER to assist

community members with govt. benefits problems, such as with Public Assistance, Food Stamps, Medicaid, etc., and to work on organizing campaigns for affordable housing and welfare rights. Qualifications: high school degree or equivalent, familiar with govt. benefits program, well organized and motivated ind~ vidual, bilingual (English-Spanish) . Salary based on experience. Good benefits. Send/fax resume cover letter to Director of Organizing, Rfth Avenue Committee, 141 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217 718- 857-2990 FAX (718)8574322.


a Brooklyn community organization, is seeking an ECONOMIC JlISTICEIWORKFARE

membership campaign of workfare

workers organizing for economic opportunity and justice. Qualifications: profes- sional labor or community organizing experience, passion for social justice and grassroots actions, bilingual (Spanish-English) a plus. Salary based on exper~ ence. Good benefits. Send/ fax resume and cover letter to Director of Organizing, Rfth Avenue Comm ittee , 1415th Avenue , Brooklyn, NY 11217 718- 8574322 .

WORKER ORGANIZER to work on an innovative

NAPlL FB.LOWSHIPJUTORNEY. The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law seeks applicants for a two-year NAPIL Fellowship Attomey position, to start in September 2000. The NAPIL Fellow will work on a campaign to safeguard access to civil legal services for the poor. A description of the position, salary, qualifications, and how to apply are available at www.brennancenter.orgjemploymentjindex.html

or by calling 212-998-6730.

DIRECTOR. The Children's Aid Society seeks an experienced manager to direct an active multi-service community center on W. l04th Street. Program areas include Head Start, Afterschool, Youth Development, Health and Mental Health. Director will assess and enhance services based upon changing community needs and building community partnerships. MSW or similar degree plus five to ten years increasing management experience required. Suocessful candidates will have excellent admin- istrative, supervisory, program development, analytic, problem soMng and strong communication skills. Competitive salary and benefits. Fax resume and cover to: H. Bagley, 212-529-6762 or email to:


tion in Central Harlem is seeking an experienced community organizer. Responsibilities: Provide technical assistance and guidance to tenants in the tar- get area of CBO; organize residents in the formation of block and tenant asso-

APRIL 2000


- (continued from page 32) OFFJC£ MANAGER: Energetic, take-charge person to manage office of growing children's

(continued from page 32)

OFFJC£ MANAGER: Energetic, take-charge person to manage office of growing children's service agency. Handle payroll, light bookkeeping, personnel records, oversee computer systems, supervise receptionist, maintain and purchase office. supplies, work with Board of Directors and public. Send cover letter and resume to Partnership with Children, Inc . 220 E. 23rd Street, Suite 500, NY, NY 10010 or FAX 212-689-9568. No phone calls please. EOE.

DEVELOPMENT POSI11ON: a small nonprofit organization that provides services for children of incarcerated mothers and their families. Responsibilities include grant writing, donor stewardship, record keeping and public relations. Min. 3 years experience. Salary commensurate with experience. Must have strong interpersonal skills, computer proficiency. EOE. Send resume to: Hour Children, 36-11 A 12th Street, Long Island City, NY 11106.

CUCS' West Harlem Transitional Services, a highly successful program that helps mentally ill homeless people prepare for and access housing through its out~e.ach services, drop-in center, and transitional residence has the following positions available: ASSISTANT TEAM LEADER (two positions). Responsibilities:

Provide clinical services to individuals and groups, crisis intervention, case man- agement, and assisting the Clinical supervisor in directing the activities of on- site core services team. This position will also participate in program develop- ment initiatives. Requirements: MSW and direct service experience in mental health and/ or homelessness. Good written and verbal communications skills. Bilingual Spanish/ English preferred. The salary for this position is $34K + comp bnfts. Send cover letter and resume to Carleen School , CUCS-WHTS West 127th Street, NY, NY 10027. CUCS is committed to workforce diversity. EEO

PROPERTY MANAGER. Bronx nonprofit agency seeks an experienced Property

Manager. Responsibilities: Oversee property management, supervise mainte- nance workers, monitor repairs, supervise contractors and vendors, prepare var-

ious reports, leasing compliance, rent up

two or more years experience in housing management with supervisory experi- ence or High School Diploma plus five years experience in the field required. Experience in leasing guidelines (SIP, NOW/HOME) preferred . Excellent verbal , written and computer skills; bilingual Spanish a plus. Salary: Mid 30's. Send resume with cover letter to: Executive Director, Bronx Heights NCC, 99 Featherbed Lane , Bronx, NY 10452. Fax: 718-294-1019.

and collection . Qual ifications : BA with

Post Graduate Center for Mental Health, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Project, seeks a CONTRACT MANAGER. The Contract Manager will assist in the project administration of 30+ citywide contracts with HIV/ AIDS housing and supportive service organizations, technical assistance providers, adolescent service providers and other not-for-profit agencies. Duties include review and tracking of qualitative and quantitative data on subcontractor perfor- mance, site visits, programmatic aUdits, and writing of monitoring reports . Requires bachelor's (master's preferred) in Health , Education , Human Services or Non-Profit Administration . Minimum three years experience in contract man- agement of mental health, substance abuse, housing, and/ or HIV/ AIDS hous- ing, and/ or social service agencies. Position requires excellent writing, comput- er (Word and Excel) and communication skills and familiarity with fiscal over- Sight, budgets and bookkeeping. Salary commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package. Send resume and cover letter indicating salary requirements to Harry Munson, Director of Human Resources, PCMH, 138 E. 26th Street, NY, NY 10010 or fax 212-576-4194 .

DIRECTOR OF QUALITY ASSURANCE. Inwood House, a small child welfare and social services agency focused on adolescent pregnancy, parenting and pre- vention is seeing a Director of Quality Assurance. Responsibilities include over- seeing QA activities for all agency programs; maintaining and tracking databas- es to ensure standards and mandates are met; conducts case record reviews. Applicants must have MSW/ MPA or equivalent education with at least 2-yr expe- rience; strong verbal and written communication, reporting and analytical skills. Competitive salary and benefits. Resume and salary reqUirements to: Cecilia Gaston, fax 212-353-3775.

The AFL-CIO is looking for experienced CAMPAIGN RESEARCHERS with a strong commitment to social justice to fill exciting positions on union organizing cam- paigns in Washington DC, Georgia , Louisiana , Michigan and other locations. Salaries range from the $30s to $60s depending on experience; benefits are excellent. We want: people with solid backgrounds in organizing, community activism, or political campaigns and professionals trained in economic analysis, corporate and Industry research, employment law, investigative journalism, or with other applicable experience. People of color and women are encouraged to apply. Email cover letter, resume, and brief writing sample to: JobSearch@afi- or mail same to: Job Search, Corporate Affairs, AFL-CIO, 815 16th Street, NW. Washington DC 20006.

EXECUT1VE ASSISTANTIPRQJECT MANAGER. Innovative consulting firm serving non-

profits seeks assistant. You: detail oriented, good writer, analytical, skilled at MSOffice. Master's preferred. Duties: grant writing, assisting President, clerical. Check out 3-days or FIT. Great pay, bonuses, health ben- efits, advancement. Two-year commitment. Cover letter, resume, writing samples, three references : Laurence Pagnoni, 549 W. 123rd St., #18H , NY, NY 10027.

IIOOKKEEPERIBUSNESS MANAGER. The Educational Video Center (EVC), a nonprofit media arts center seeks : highly organized bookkeeper, proficient in Quickbooks,

experienced in office / business management. Duties include: A/ P, A/ R, bank rec-


reporting, projections, budget/audit preparation, and insurance/ contracts over- sight. Experience in nonprofit sector preferred. Good communication, managerial skills required. Salary range is 30k-34k, excellent benefits. Mail or fax cover letter, resume, three references to: Associate Director, EVC, 55 E. 25th Street, 5th Roor, NY, NY 10010 or fax 212-725-6501. EOE.




grants/ fund



Project Hospitality, an innovative and growing community based organ ization locat- ed on Staten Island, with most sites near the ferry, has job opportunities available in social services . We have various positions such as VOCImONAl. COUNSELOR CSW w/ Substance Abuse or MICA experience, HIV HEALTH ~OO



CIAl to work with various populations, CONTRACT COMPlIANCE ASSOCIATE to

work with our Qual ity Assurance Department, and other positions. We offer an excellent benefits package; salary is based on experience and degree. Send resume and salary requirements to: Project Hospitality, Human Resource Director,

100 Park Avenue , Staten Island , NY 10302. EOE M/ FjV/ H.


The 14th Street-Union Square Business Improvement District and Local Development Corporation is seeking a DIRECTOR OF DEVElOPMENT and SPECW. EVENTS. The BID/ LDC is a not-for-profit, commun ity based organization that has been the catalyst for the revitalization of New York's most exciting and dynamic neighborhoods . We serve as the private sector's liaison with government, pro- mote the neighborhood, serve as a network for the area's new media companies, host commun ity events in Union Square Park and coordinate a model public/ pri- vate partnership with Washington Irving High School. Responsibilities include:

Producing special events in Union Square Park, including Summer in the Square (weekly performance series), Manhattan Short Rim Festival, and Harvest in the Square, one of New York's leading food events that raises funds for Union Square Park; managing fund raising events for the education program and other initia- tives; coord inating fundraising campaigns and corporate sponsorships; and writ-

ing grant proposals for foundation support. Experience in events planning, fundraising or marketing is preferred . Please send resume to : Executive Director, 14th Street-Union Square BID & LOC, 4 Iriving Place, Room 1148-S, New York,

NY 10003 or Fax:

212- 4208670 . Email:

Bilingual Welfare-to-Work PROJECT DIRECTOR needed with administrative and supervisory experience. Job development, social work background, and experi- ence advocating with HRA helpful. Fax resume to 212- 9284180, attn: Julie Levine, NMIC.

ASSISTANT PROJECT DIRECTOR for eviction prevention program . Resea r ch into PA

& housing law, editing & updating manuals on HR & Housing Court rules, over- sight of staffs work on Jiggetts cases , some staff training & supervision . Bilingual Spanish/ English preferred; three years experience in case manage- ment and broad-based social services knowledge. Great writing & organization- al skills required . Mid-$30s , medical , dental , family coverage. People of color and women encouraged; AA/ EOE. Resume to: Assistant CHAT Director, CFRC,

39 Broadway, 10th Roor, NY NY 10006; fax 212- 616-4988.

The HIV Law Project, a non-profit organization that provides free legal services to low-income, HIV-positive individuals, seeks a part-time GRANT WRITER to research and write private foundation (including corporate foundation) grant proposals and reports, as well as government grant proposals. The grant writer will work on-site,

20 hours per week, at our offices, and report to the Development Officer. Please

mail, fax, or email resumes and writing samples to: Rebecca Davis, Development Officer, HIV Law Project, 841 Broadway, Suite 608 , New York, NY 10003. Fax: 212- 674-7450. Email: No phone calls please .

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has several positions in three job placement/ train- ing programs. JOB DEVEl.OPERICASE MANAGERS require BA and / or significant expe- rience in job readiness, training or related field . COORDINATORS must have BA (Masters preferred) and at least 2 years experience in supervision . DIRECTOR OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT requires Masters (or BA and 5+ years of experience) and experience with HRA. Knowledge of welfare, BEGIN, and job readiness/ train- ing a strong plus for all positions. Some positions require bilingual (Spanish). Competitive salaries . Fax K. Courtney at 718-993-8089 .

Bronx CDC specializing in housing, employment services, and asset-building pro- grams is seeking a COMMUNnY DEVELOPMENT ASSOCum:. Responsibilities:


Coordinate NYC's first Individual Development Account Program and assist with a range of additional programs.
Coordinate NYC's first Individual Development Account Program and assist with a range of additional programs.

Coordinate NYC's first Individual Development Account Program and assist with

a range of additional programs. Build skills in program management, grantwrit- ing, asset-building initiatives and comprehensive development models.

Qualifications: a BA or equivalent, strong oral and written skills; prior experience with homeownership, business development and/or money management; knowl- edge of and/or interest in economic development and refined interpersonal skills. Knowledge of Spanish a plus. Send cover letter and resume to Rita Bowen, Mount Hope Housing Company, 2003-05 Walton Avenue, Bronx, NY

10453. Fax: 718-299-5623.

ACADEMIC ASSISTANCE TUTOR. We are seeking an experienced tutor to work in a group setting with participants in our team program. Tutors must have a strong background in math, science, history and writing. GED preparation skills and for- eign language(s) are a must; person will work with teens in need of remedial assistance. Duties include setting up group lesson plans, completing daily assessments and updating the participants' Individual Education Plans (IEP's). Applicants should have some experience working with inner-city teens and be available during after-school hours. (3 p.m.-9 p.m.). We are looking for someone who is also willing to make a one-year commitment. Salary is commensurate with experience. Send resumes to: Keith Mitchell, Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement, c/o Operation P.E.E.R., 1()'25 41st Avenue, Long Island City, NY

11101. Fax resumes to 718-784-3055.

Youth Build program, combining GED prep with training in the construction trades, seeks COUNSELORICASE MANAGER for 10 month position to develop ind~ vidual vocational and education plans with students, conduct vocational and psychoeducational workshops, provide individual counseling, and job develojr ment. Familiarity with issues affecting youth and resources in NYC required. Must be team player. Ruency in Spanish preferred. BA required. People of color strongly encouraged to apply. Salary $35K/year. Full benefits. Fax resume ASAP to 212-255-8021.

VOCA11ONAl. SPECIALIST. The American Red Cross in Greater New York is seeking

a dedicated professional to provide vocational assistance to previously home- less women by assessing employment and educational history and developing

customized service plans. You'll ensure clients meet criteria for their programs; monitor/document progress; maintain positive relationship with training and employment programs; implement new programs; as well as create a resource library. You'll also facilitate workshops; coordinate a sem~annual employment and training fair for clients; and generate reports. Requirements: BA degree in Social Work; 4+ years vocational counseling or job placement experience; strong communication/interpersonal skills; a background running educational groups for adults preferred. We offer a salary of $31-$34 K along with a comprehensive benefits package. Please mail or fax your resume to: The American Red Cross

in Greater New York, Employee Resources Dept.-DM, 150 Amsterdam Avenue,











CONTRACTS COORDINATOR. The American Red Cross in Greater New York is seeking

mid- to upper forties. Please send cover letter, resume and six references to Student Achievement Associate Search, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, 250 Park Avenue Suite 900, New York, NY 10177 or fax to 212-9864558.

PUIII.Ia01ONS COORDINImJR. Newly.created position for large non-proflt child wel- fare organization. Individual must have excellent language ability, written & oral, including BA (English, PR or Communications). Computer knowledge, Excel, Microsoft Word, Desktop publishing. Detail oriented. Min 1-2 years in publications print coordination. Competitive salary and excellent benefits. Please send resume to: S. Malkin, JCCA, 120 Wall St., NYC 10005; FAX: (212)425-9397. EOE M/F

The Environmental Grantrnakers Association (EGA) seeks a highly organized, friend- ly and articulate person to serve as ADMINISJMI1VE COORDINIO"OR. This position will provide general administrative support to EGA staff and be responsible for managing the EGA office. Qualifications needed: excellent attention to detail; good phone communication skills and writing skills; ability to follow through on directions and ask questions; ability to work with frequent interruptions; profiCiency in e-mail, listservs, Windows 97, Microsoft Word, Excel and Access Database; sense of humor. Salary: $35,000. Send resume, cover letter and brief writing sample by March 15, 2000 (no phone inquiries please): Sarah Hansen, Executive Director, Environmental Grantrnakers Association, 437 Madison Avenue, 37th Roor, New York, NY 10022-7001 email:, website: People of color strongly encouraged to apply.

Make a career out of helping others! The American Red Cross in Greater New York has (2) immediate openings for professionals to work within our Homeless Services Department in programs for homeless and formerly homeless families (women and children) in the following positions: CASE WORKER SUPERVISOR:

Family Respite Center. Work within a temporary housing facility for 90 homeless families with young children. Responsible for the coordination and supervision of our comprehensive social services programs, including: supervising case- workers and their work related to family intake; assessment and service plan development, overseeing crisis intervention, advocacy and referral activities; overseeing housing relocation assistance; and coordinating on and off-site ancil-


in a program of comprehensive services to relocate homeless families. Responsible for the coordination and supervision of home-based case manage- ment services, including: supervising caseworkers and their work related to fam- ily intake; assessment and service plan development; overseeing crisis inter- vention, advocacy and referral activities; coordinating inter-agency service provi- sion with neighborhood-based social service providers to ensure successful relo- cation of homeless families recently placed in permanent housing. BOTH posi- tions require an MSW and 2 years experience in social services with high-risk families, including minimum of 1 year supervisory experience and knowledge of family dynamics, substance abuse and housing issues. We offer salaries in the high $30s and a comprehensive benefits package. Please mail or fax your resume indicating position of interest to: The American Red Cross in Greater New York, Employee Resources Dept-DM, 150 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10023: FAX: 212-875-2357. EOE M/F/DjV. Email:


qualified professional to work in the administrative office of its Homeless

Services Dept., which manages residential facilities and supportive services for homeless and formerly homeless families. You will assist contract and office man- agement with financial and programmatic reporting, information management, administrative support, and monitoring compliance. Requires BA, excellent com- puter profiCiency (including advanced Excel), as well as experience with non-proflt contracts and bookkeeping. We offer a salary of $31,200 and a comprehensive benefits package . Please mail or fax your resume to: The American Red Cross in Greater New York, Employee Resources Dept.-DM 150 Amsterdam Avenue, NY NY 10023; fax: (212) 875-2357. An EOE M/F/DjV. Email:

CUENT SERVICES SUPERVISOR. The American Red Cross of Greater New York has an immediate opening for a professional to work in our transitional facility for 90 homeless families (women and children).You will work with and supervise a team of Client Service Workers, including human resource management, performance assessment, effective communication and the transfer of information. You'll also supervise the crisis management functions of staff. Some weekend work required. Bachelor's degree or equivalent in Social Work or related field required. Experience in a client services setting with supervisory responsibility as well as direct service is desirable. We offer a salary of $31,200 and a comprehensive benefits package. Please mail or fax your resume to: The American Red Cross in Greater New York, Employee Resources Dept-DM, 150 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10023: Fax: (212)857-2357. An EOE M/F/DjV.

ASSOCW"E. The Program for Student Achievement of the Edna McConnell Clark

Foundation seeks candidates for the position of Associate, one membe~ of the Program's three-person team. The Associate plays an important role in helping the Program achieve its goal of enabling students in middle schools to meet academ-

SENIOR LENDER, The Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFf) is seeking a Senior Lender for its New York Program. The Lender will provide financial analysis for NFF's lend- ing and asset building products, provide financial advisory services for clients and assist in developing and implementing marketing strategies. Duties include:


standards in mathematics, science, language arts and social studies by the end


the eighth grade. The Associate supports the Director in working with a variety


issues such as planning for the Trustees' annual review of the Program, draft-

ing grant recommendations for action by the Board of Trustees, and developing and maintaining relationships with the grantees. The Associate is also responsible for a number of administrative duties that include managing the Program's budget and organizing two Program conferences each year. Candidates should have com- pleted their undergraduate and preferably their post.graduate education, and worked for at least three to five years in fields related to the Program's interests, such as urban public education or youth development. Candidates must have superior analytical, writing and oral communication skills. Some knowledge of major issues of public education reform is necessary, and knowledge of middle schools will be useful. Candidates must be willing to reside in the New York met- ropolitan area and travel approximately 20 days each year. Applicants should be aware that this position does not include opportunities to provide technical assis- tance in instruction or curriculum to schools systems or schools. Salary range-

performing credit analysis, making written and oral presentations, closing loans, monitoring the portfolio, and staffing special projects. While being dedicated to and located in New York, the Lender is also part of a six-person financial ser- vices team that provides financial services nationwide and is expected to work on projects trom other areas as needed. Candidates must have a desire to work with nonprofits, knowledge of community development and/or banking industry. At least 4 years experience (two years in this or a related field), Masters Degree preferred, and profiCiency in Excel and Microsoft Word. Salary: mid-50s to mid- 60s, generous benefits. EOE. Send resume and cover letter via email to:; fax to: 212-268-8653 or write Norah McVeigh, Nonprofit Finance Fund, 70 West 36th Street, 11th Roor, New York, NY 10018. No calls please.

(continued on page 34)

APRIL 2000


(continued from page 33) SPECIAL EVENTS ASSISTANT: Cause Effective is a nonprofit that helps other
(continued from page 33) SPECIAL EVENTS ASSISTANT: Cause Effective is a nonprofit that helps other

(continued from page 33)

SPECIAL EVENTS ASSISTANT: Cause Effective is a nonprofit that helps other non- profits fundraise and friendraise. Seeking a junior-level staff member to work closely with Senior Consultants to plan and implement special events and pro- vide events training. Acute attention to detail, strong oral and written communi-

proficiency in Windows, Word , and Excel a must. Knowledge

cations skills, and

of Access a plus. Competitive salary; good benefits. People of color strongly encouraged to apply. Send resume (in confidence) to Cause Effective, 39 W.

14th Street, Suite 408, NYC 10011, by fax: 212-691-5049, or email to zanet-

Brooklyn-based CDC seeks PUBlIC RElA110NS DIRECTOR to plan and imple- ment public relations policies and procedures. Overall responsibilities includes original writing for speeches, sCripts for deSign, and media presen- tations. Has responsibility to coordinate presentation of merchandising prod- ucts, displays and exhibits; coordinates the advertising and sales promotion materials; assists to build sponsorship campaign, prepare digital presenta- tions; develop and administer visitor surveys, conduct community outreach and maintain residential demographics. BA/BS Marketing Communication Arts with three to five years experience in public relations, media or related field. Superior supervisory, leadership, public speaking and interpersonal skills a must. Fax resume to J. Anglin, c/o BSRC, 1368 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11216.

EXECUT1VE DIRECTOR. Nationally known, community based preventive services agency seeks Executive Director with proven record of program results & fundraising. Qualified candidates must have graduate degree in social work & a minimum of 7 years administrative and management experience, preferably related to child welfare . Demonstrated knowledge of policy setting, program planning & management, budgeting & financial management. Ability to develop working relationships and strategic alliances with government agencies, corn- munity and professional groups and funding entities. We offer a competitive salary & benefits package. Please send resume to: Box JA-171/CL, 180 Varick St., 2nd R, NY, NY 10014. EOE.

The East Williamsburg Valley Industrial Development Corp (EWVIDCO) seeks an ECONOMIC D£VB.OPMENT GENERALIST (full time or part time) to manage and expand EWVIDCO's group buying service, coordinate business seminars and organize events and other projects. Strong organizational, researching, marketing and oral communication skills needed. Send cover letter and resume to N. Lasher, EWVIDCO , 11 Catherine Street, Brooklyn , NY 11211 . Fax 718-963-1905 .

The Pratt Area Community Council (PACC) is a not-for-profit organization improving the Brooklyn communities of Ft. Greene, Clinton Hill, and Bedford- Stuyvesant. PACC seeks an ADMIINIS11tATlVE ASSISTANT to provide high-level administrative support in drafting reports, proposals, and correspondence. Responsible for coordinating outreach to Board of Directors. Must have knowl- edge of office procedures and eqUipment, superior verbal and written com- munication skills, proficiency in PC word processing and database mainte- nance. Fax letter, resume, and salary requirements to: PACC, 718-522-2604.

OPERATIONSIDEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR. Community Voices Heard, a grassroots membership organization working on welfare, workfare and other anti-poverty issues, is seeking a dynamic, well organized and experienced administrator and fundraiser to assist the Executive Director in administrative management and fundraising. The Operations Director will work to develop and manage administrative systems for the organization and to develop a diverse fundrais- ing program including house parties , special events , an individual donor cam- paign and a fee-for-service speakers bureau. The salary for this position is $33,000 to $38,000 DOE, including benefits. People of color, women , les- bians and gays are strongly encouraged to apply for th is position. Please send resume and cover letter to Community Voices Heard, PO Box 1230, New York, NY 10029.

COMMUNITY ORGANIZER. Community Voices Heard, a grass-roots membership organization is seeking an experienced organizer to build membership, develop

leaders, staff organizing committees, and to work on local and citywide campaigns on job creation, workfare and welfare reform. Spanish-speaking bilingual is strong.

$24,000 to 30 ,000 DOE,

including benefits. People of color, women , lesbians and gays are strongly encour-

Iy desired but not required. The salary for this poSition is

aged to apply for this position. Please send resume and cover letter to Community Voices Heard, PO Box 1230, New York, NY 10029.

Citizens Advice Bureau has two positions in homeless programs: PROGRAM DIRECTOR for boro-wide homeless outreach team requires CSW. Experience with population; familiarity with resources; strong supervisory and organiza- tional skills required. Mid-high $40s. CASE MANAGER requires BA, good com-

Mid-high $40s. CASE MANAGER requires BA, good com- munication, resume and cover letter to TM at


resume and cover letter to TM at 718-893-3680.

organizational skills High

$20s. Spanish/ English

a plus.


Nonprofit seeks RESEARCH ASSISTANT for clerical/technical work including, con- ducting interviews and follow-up, working with research scientists and helping with implementation and maintenance for research protocol. Experience in research practices including interviewing skills, data collection and manage- ment, computer applications, and knowledge of the field of mental illness, HIV/AIDS or other disabilities a must. Bilingual/bicultural a plus. Competitive salary and excellent benefits. Cover letter and resume to: HR, CSH, 50 Broadway, 17th Roor, NY, NY 10004.

Long Island ORGANIZER. NYS Tenants & Neighbors seeks fuHime staff person to organize Nassau ' s rent-regulated tenants and residents in Section 8 devel- opments throughout Long Island. Must be self-starter w/ strong skills and abili- tyto work independently. Long Island resident preferred; car a must. Salary corn- mensurate with experience. Full benefits. Send or fax resume/ cover letter to :

Joe Heaphy, Tenants and Neighbors, 505 8th Avenue, 18th Roor, NYC 10018. Fax: 212-6954314.

DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR: Children's social services agency poised for expansion seeks pro-active development profeSSional with 5+years NYC experience. Work closely with Executive Director, Board, key staff. Foundation/ corporate solicita- tions, major gifts, direct mail , some special events. Strong writing, strategic thinking, people skills. EOE. Partnership with Children, Inc. , 220 East 23rd Street, Suite 500, New York, NY 10010. Fax 212-689-9568 .

CORPORm AND FOUNOOION SP£CIAI Children's social services agency

poised for expansion seeks energetiC self-starter with minimum two years NYC

experience. Research , write foundation/corporate/government solicitations, proposals; supervise development intem. Oversee direct mail campaign; work

with Junior Committee. Strong writing, organizational and people skills. EOE.

with Children , Inc., 220 East 23rd Street, Suite 500 , New York, NY

10010. Fax 212-689-9568.



Fundraising. ASSISTANT DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR needed for Lower East Side Settlement House. Experience with grant writing, annual appeals, and special events. Col. Deg and/or 1 year experience preferred. Good writing skills required. Knowledge of Chinese community a plus. Sal. Com W/ exp. Send resume, salary reqUirement , and writing sample to L. Lawton , HMH , 50 Madison Street, NY, NY 10038 or fax to (212)791-7540 .

Working Today, a national nonprofit, is seeking a CONTROlLER with MIS respon- sibilities. Candidates should have 3 to 5 years of relevant experience. Experience with nonprofit organizations and CPA a plus. Compensation corn- mensurate with experience. Excellent benefits included. Forward resume to attention of Lisa Beneventano, Special Assistant, PO Box 1261 Old Chelsea Box Station, NYC, 10113 or fax: 212-366-6971.

Hamilton-Madison House is seeking a YOUTH DIRECTOR to supervise the Afterschool, Teen EveningjWeekend Summer and Day Camp Programs . The position will be available March 2000. Duties include: supervision of all

staff employed within the Youth Program; administrative duties related to

programs such as, but not limited to reports , statistics, permit

tions; development of activities and curriculum commensurate with all

aspects of program ; interfacing with other

grams; scheduling of in-service training for staff; scheduling monthly par- ent meetings. Qualifications: B.A. with 5 years experience, M.S .W. with inner city youth experience; supervisory experience; ability to be flexible and creative . Salary: Mid $30,000 experience considered. Hours: Monday- Friday 2-10pm (there is some flexibility with hours after probationary peri-

months). Submit or fax resume to: Thea Goodman, Assistant

Hamilton-Madison House pro-





Executive Director at 50 Madison Street , New York , NY 10038 or fax 212 -



Brooklyn CDC seeks coordinator for neighborhood employment services pro-

developing career goals;

job search strategies; resumes and interviewing skills; develop jobs for program participants; conduct job readiness workshops; oversee participant database;

and supervise full time VISTA. Qualifications: job development experience; well organized, motivated with excellent communications skills; computer literate; supervisory skills; bilingual (English/Spanish). Some evening hours required. Send cover letter, resume and salary requirements to NESPC Search, Rfth Avenue Committee, 141 Rfth Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11217 or fax 718-857-4322. M/EOE.

gram. Responsibilities : assist program partiCipants in


(continued on page 36)



PROFES ECTORV CoNSUl TANI $ERylCES   MI(HA(L 6. BU((I   Proposals/Grant Writing HUD G nts/Govt.
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40157 Av #4WA, Brooklyn NY 11232 v: 718-854-0335 f: 718-854-0409

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Committed to the development of affordable housing


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Low-income housing tax credit syndication. Public and private financing. HDFCs and not-for-profit corporations. Condos and co-ops. J-51 Tax abatement/exemptions. Lending for historic properties.

APRIL 2000


Concentrating in Real Estate & Non-profit Law

Title and loan closings 0 All city housing programs Mutual housing associations 0 Cooperative conversions

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Let us Zip+4 and Bar Code Your Mailings for Maximum Postal Discounts and Faster Delivery

We also offer hand inserting, live stamp affixing, bulk mail, folding, collating, labeling, wafer sealing and more.

Henry Street Set/lement Mailing Services is a work readiness program offering participants on-the-job and life-skills training

For information contact Bob Modica

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management solutions for non-profits

Providing a full range of management support services for non.profit organizations

• management development & strategic planning • board and staff development & training • program design, implementation & evaluation • proposal and report writing

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Hardware Sales:

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Morris Kornbluth 718-857-9157


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Meeting the challenges of affordable housing for 20 years. Providing legal services in the areas of General Real Estate, Business, Trust & Estates, and Elder Law.

217 Broadway, Suite 610 New York, NY 10007 (212) 513-0981


(continued from page 34) DIRECTOR. The Training Institute for Careers in Organizing seeks Director to
(continued from page 34) DIRECTOR. The Training Institute for Careers in Organizing seeks Director to

(continued from page 34)

DIRECTOR. The Training Institute for Careers in Organizing seeks Director to run training and technical assistance program in community organizing, oversee apprenticeship program, classroom trainings and recruitment weekend. Based on experience, computer and administrative skills, grant-writing and SOrT)e Spanish. Salary $27-$34K based on experience, good benefits. Send resume to or 103 E. 196 Street, Bronx, NY 10468 or fax (718) 733-6922- call Monami at (718) 584-29954.

ORGANIZE! Join activists and academics for a weekend conference, April 8-9 2000 at Columbia University. The conference will cover key issues in organizing for social change in workshops, roundtable discussions and paper presentations. For more information about participation, program and registration , visit the web page: http:// www.sociology.columbia .edu/ home/ lesley/organize_reg.htm or write to the program committee at:

Forest Hills Community House, a member of a Queens health-focused coalition contracted to enroll children into Child Health Plus (CHP) and or Medicaid, is seeking two individuals to provide outreach, education and enrollment in central

Queens: PROJECT COORDINATORIlEAD ENROl.LER: Responsible for developing an

outreach plan, coordinating schedules, providing enrollment, and supervising enrollers. BHingual preferred (English/Spanish or Russian). Must have two years experience in community work or work with low-income families and pos- sess strong organizational skills. 35 hrs/week, some evenings and Saturdays. $15.40 per hour, benefits. ENROl.LER: Have good interpersonal, organizational and computer skills and willingness to travel across central Queens. Bi-lingual preferred (English/Spanish or Russian). $25 hrs/week @ $9.00/hour. Some evenings and Saturdays. Mail resume to Dennis Redmond , FHCH, 108-25 62nd Drive, Forest Hills NY 11375. EEO

The Rfth Avenue Committee, Inc., a not for profit CDC, seeks an experienced PROPERTY MANAGER to supervise nine maintenance workers and assist in imple- menting a comprehensive asset management plan. Responsible for tracking repairs, building inspections, registrations, inventory, field supervision of con- tractors and vendors. Qualifications: Rve years experience in combined housing related work. Two years of college and/or training institute. Computer literate and good knowledge of building systems. Compensation: Mid $30's.Send resume to: FAC, 141 5th Avenue , Brooklyn NY 11217 . Re: Property Manager.

DIRECTOR FOR PROPERTY MANAGEMENT. The Rfth Avenue Committee, Inc. a not for profit CDC, seeks a highly motivated individual to lead a growing property man- agement department. Responsible for staff supervision and implementation of a comprehensive asset management plan, including budget development, fiscal monitoring, compliance, reporting, capital improvements, post construction, bid- ding, purchasing and legal. Qualifications: Rve years experience as a property manager. Two years of college and/or training institute. Good knowledge of build- ing systems and Microsoft Windows, Excel and Word. Compensations: $4Q. 45K.Send resume to: FAC. 141 Rfth Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11217

Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, a not-for-profit multi service orga- nization in East Brooklyn seeks a PROGRAM DIRECTOR to launch its Employment

Services and Placement Program. The program will provide job readiness tra in-

ing, individual counseling, job placement and retention services to residents pri-

marily on public assistance. 120 placements are mandated per year. Requirements-MS Social Work. Public Administration or related field preferred. Supervisory experience, two years experience in high volume performance based employment services organization with proven job placement experience. Bilingual (Spanish) a plus. Salary Range: $35k-$38K + health benefits. To apply. fax resume to: M. Williams at (718)647-2104.

Jennie A. Clark Residence, Hope Community's Tier II she lter for homeless families , combines transitional housing with onsite social services to pre- pare its 73 resident families for productive, independent lives. CASE MANAG- ER SUPERVISOR: Duties : Supervise case management staff. Responsible for

quality assurance as well as preparing agency staff for City/ state site visits. Works under the direct supervision of the Deputy Director. Master degree in Social Work preferred or BA with minimum of 5 years experience working with homeless population/ families. Must have excellent organizational skills. RESIDENT AIDE (Security Guards): Duties: ensure security of residents , staff and building by monitoring everyone entering and leaving the buildings. High school diploma or equivalent, GED with one year experiences. Must have

excellent interpersonal skills. CHILD CARE WORKER: Work in the facility's Drop

In/Daycare unit under the supervision of the Daycare Administrator. High School diploma required with several years of experience working with small children . Must have excellent communications skills. RECREATION COORDINA- TOR: Responsible for the supervision of the Youth Staff. The Recreation

Coordinator is responsible for planning and program development in recre- ational, cultural and educational activities. Must have knowledge of commu-

and educational activities. Must have knowledge of commu- nity resources and serve as a community liaison

nity resources and serve as a community liaison with community organiza- t ions in order to access additional activities off site. Send cover letter and resume to: L. Lorenzo Williams , Deputy Director, Jennie A. Clark, 183 A East 100th Street, New York , NY 10029 or fax: 212-36Q.5494 . No Phone Calls .

The Faith in Action Program, an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation , has an opening for an EXECIIIlVE ASSISTANT to the National Program Director. Faith in Action is a seven-year program providing $10 million each year in grants to local coalitions of faith-based organizations that mobilize volunteers helping people with chronic health conditions. The Executive Assistant will main- tain the CEO's calendar and travel ; carry out research assignments; organize and prepare minutes for meetings. Must have high level writing-skills and sub- stantial experience in dealing with executives of national leadership groups. Salary is $40,000. National Program office is located in Pearl River, NY (half hour north of NYC). Send resume and letter to : Harry R. Moody, Faith in Action , PO Box 575, Palisades NY 10964.


seeks a senior staff member for a new initiative to build the capacity of emer- gency food programs to help the hungry in ways that go beyond food. The DTA will help a faith-based, voluntary service sector develop management skills and implement new programs through a comprehensive program of training, infor- mation and TA. Qualifications: Extensive community based experience, both social services and management, including fundraising, program development, training and writing, EOE. Salary: Mid-$30s. Four-day work week, benefits, four weeks vacation. Resumes to 212-3854330 , For ques- tions, job description: 212-227-8480.

Government Funded Program Seeks Experienced, Energetic JOB DEVEI.OPER. Responsibilities include the counseling and placement of individuals into jobs as assistant computer network systems administrators and assistant database administrators. Applicant must have excellent knowledge of the IT job market. Salary range 3Q.35k, commensurate with experience. Health benefits. Fax and email resume to the attention of "Alexandra" at: 718-643-3365, The United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg, 32 Penn Street, Brooklyn , NY 11211.

The Organizing/Housing and Homelessness Prevention Department now has a fulHime HOUSING SPECIALIST POSITION available in our Eviction Prevention Program in Jamaica (located near E train line). Responsibilities: Provide Eviction Prevention Assistance to tenants in Job Center 54 . Must have knowledge of Housing Law and Public Assistance; good advocacy skills. Bilingual Spanish/ English Preferred:

Salary: mid 20s plus full benefits package. Submit resume to: FHCH, 108-25 62nd Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375 Attn: Housing. EEO

SENIOR TRAlNER/TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE. Full time position available at Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS) Housing Resource Center for an individual to provide training and technical assistance to supportive housing providers and their staff. Eligible applicants are required to have at least five years experience in the following areas: overseeing a supportive housing or other human service program and supervising or training professional staff. Experience working directly with pe0- ple with special needs and in employment services preferred. Applicants must have excellent verbal, written and interpersonal skills. Master degree required. Send cover letter and resume to: Peggy Shor, CUCS 120 Wall Street, 25th Roor, New York NY 10005. FAX: 212.{l35-2191 .

PROGRAM OfFICER. The Veatch Program is the grantmaking division of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock, on Long Island. The pro- gram supports a broad range of denominational and non-denominational activities which reflect the values and philosophy of Unitarian Univeralism. Non-denominational organizations supported by Program funds are those engaged in social justice activities which further community organizing and democratic partiCipation in policy making. Responsibilities: Assess current program areas and analyze opportunities for new program development. Identify national , regional and analyze opportunities for new program devel- opment. Identify national , regional and local grassroots organizations that work for progressive social change, evaluate proposals and make grant rec- ommendationis; monitor the progress of ongoing grants; collaborate with other grantmakers. Some travel required. Qualifications : Prior experience working with grassroots and advocacy organizations; excellent writing and analytical skills; ability to work with individuals and organizations of different ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds; preferably prior grant- making experience, and an understanding of the philosophy and values of Unitarian Universalism. The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock is committed to affirmative action. Send resume, cover letter and at least three references. MUST BE RECEIVED ASAP. Reply to: Program Officer Search, Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock, 48 Shelter Rock Road , Manhasset , NY 11030 .

PROJECT MANAGER, Tenant and Community Services. NYC office of the Enterprise Foundation seeks experienced manager to provide technical assistance to com- munity.based organizations and other community developers on tenant and


social services and neighborhood resource development. Qualifications: Degree in social work, urban planning or related
social services and neighborhood resource development. Qualifications: Degree in social work, urban planning or related

social services and neighborhood resource development. Qualifications: Degree

in social work, urban planning or related field; 2 years experience in community

development/planning; knowledge of social services. Visit enterprisefounda- tion .org for all details. Fax resume and salary requirements to 410-772-2702.

Requirements: College Degree, good

writing, research, and communication skills; computer literate. Tasks include cor-

porate solicitation; some event management tasks; public and community rela- tions. Bilingual (Spanish) and fund raiSing experience preferred. Competitive salary, excellent benefits. Send resume: Maria Elena Girone, Executive Director, PRR, 145 West 15th Street, New York, N.Y. 10011 or FAX 212-B91-5635.


JOB DEVELOPER. Bronx-based company seeks an individual experienced in

employment/job development with own job data bank to create employment opportunities for clientele. BA in related field and a minimum of 3 years experi- ence in job development and placement required. Strong presentation/PC skills needed. Bilingual a plus. Starting salary $30K. Fax or mall resume with cover letter to: Director of Employment Service, The New Bronx Employment Service ,

54 East 179th Street, Bronx, New York 10453. FAX 718-29%646 .

EXECIIT1VE DIRECTOR. Seeking experienced, creative and dynamic director with strong political , administrative and fundraising skills. Management of NYC and Albany offices. A strong candidate should possess: knowledge of welfare , workfare, hunger and poverty issues; experience with grant writing, not-for-profit administration , and fiscal oversight; and an understanding of, and a commitment to, the range of issues affecting low-income New Yorkers. Ability to work with a diverse staff, board and constituency a must. Resume ,

CL to Hunger Action Network, 305 Seventh Avenue, Suite 2001, NYC 10001.

DEVElOPMENT DIRECTOR. Ant~hunger,economic justice organization seeks ener- getic and experienced individual to take a leadership role in building dynamic organization. Fundraising, grant writing and special events. Three years expe~ ence . $35-40,000 DOE. Health benefits and vacation. Resume, CL to Hunger Action Network, 305 Seventh Avenue, Suite 2001, NYC 10001.

DIRECTOR, NEIGHBORHOOD AN11.a11ME. Citywide nonprofit seeks individual to manage program mobilizing neighborhood residents for safety. MA + 2 years experience community organizing required. Knowledge of MS Word , Bilingual, knowledge of diverse communities and drug or crime prevention preferred. Salary commensurate with experience. Resume, salary requirements & short writing sample ASAP to: MC, CCNYC, 305 7th Ave., 15th R., NYC 10001 or Include NACC In subject line. TRAINING COORDINIUOR. Citywide nonprofit seeks Training Coordinator. BA + 3 years experience with

grassroots community organizing training design & delivery required. Bilingual & knowledge of diverse communities; strong writing & presentation skills pre- ferred. Salary commensurate with experience. Some evenings & weekends required. Resume & short writing sample ASAP to: JM, CCNYC, 305 7th Ave., 15th R., NYC 10001 or Please include TRAIN in subject line. PIT OFFICE MANAGEMENT ASSISllWT. 15 hours/week (M-F 1-4 p.m.). $8/ hour. Dynamic not-for-profit seeks energetic & enthusiastic self starter to assist w/reception, Office maintenance & inventories. Experience with painting,

carpentry a +. Bilingual a +. Re.sumes by 2 / 4/00 to KZ, CCNYC, 305 7th Ave.

15th R.,

, NYC 10001 or Please include OA in subject line .

HOUSING DIRECTOR. Somerset County-based nonprofit social services agency that serves people with special needs throughout the greater Central New Jersey area seeks a Director of Housing to provide administrative oversight to a Housing Development/Facilities Management component of its operations. The desirable candidate will have strong administrative/organizational/supervisory skills and experience in grant writing. Experience with a computerized mainte- nance and facilities management tracking system and with the management of HUD properties a plus . BA plus 5 years experience in housing development/facilities management required. Master's Degree in related field preferred. Send resume with salary requirements/history to: Altematives, Inc.,

600 First Ave ., Raritan, NJ 08869. FAX: (908) 685-2660. E-mail: EOE.

BILINGUAL WRITIRIR£SEARCHERIPOLICY ANALYST needed to prepare reports over six months on the education of Latino children in Bronx public schools . The ideal candidate has extensive report writing/editing experience and extensive research experience in education policy. Research experience should include gathering and interpreting extant data and conducting inter- views·and focus groups with diverse populations including senior policy offi-

cials. Excellent writing, policy analysis, and general analytiC skills requ ired. Work either as PT staff or as a consultant with the possibil ity of subsequent

FT work. Salary dependent on experience. Please send resume and a writ-

ing sample to Eileen Foley, National Center for Schools and Communities,

33 West 60th Street, 8th Floor, New York, New York 10023.

The Corporation for Supportive Housing seeks two PROGRAM OFFICERS for the

APRIL 2000

NYC Program. The PO FOR SERVICE POUCY AND PROGRAM DESIGN will be respon- sible for program evaluation and funding of housing-based services for single adults and families with disabilities . Masters in social policy and planning or relat- ed field preferred. Knowledge of child welfare and/ or substance abuse programs a plus. The PO FOR EMPlOYMENT will support and bring to scale supportive hous- ing-based employment services for people with multiple barriers to work, inclu~ ing single adults with disabilities and har~t<Hlmploy heads of households. Position will involve systems change, work with government agencies and capac- ity building assistance to local supportive housing providers. Mail resume and cover letter to C. Temple, CSH, 50 Broadway, 17th Roor, New York, NY 10004 or fax, 212-98EXl552. EOE M/F/H/V.

DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR for The Brecht Forum , an independent left educational and cultural center. Responsibilities include administering and overseeing fundraising programs, sustainer program, direct mail appeals, major donor pro- gram and occasional events. Writing, organizing, and computer skills as well as willingness to work in a collaborative environment are required . Experience in grassroots social-change organizations or cultural/educational institutions a plus. Starting salary: $26,000 with benefits. People of color and women encour- aged to apply. Send resume to: The Brecht Forum, 122 West 27th Street, 10th Roor, New York, NY 10001.

PART-11ME ADMINIS1RA11VE ASSISllWTIOUTRfACH COORDINIUOR for The Brecht Forum , an independent left educational and cultural center. Writing, organizing, and computer skills as well as willingness to work in a collaborative environment are required. Experience in grassroots social-change organizations or cultur- al/educational institutions a plus. 2O-hour work week. Starting salary: $13,000 with benefits. People of color and women encouraged to apply. Send resume to:

The Brecht Forum, 122 West 27th Street, 10th Roor, New York, NY 10001.


Collaborative, an economic development, employment and community build- ing initiative seeks Director to lead multi-agency collaborative . Major respon- sibility will be to develop and implement fundraising strategy for Williamsburg Web, a network of community computer centers. Provide technical assistance, support and oversight of centers . Research curricula and best practices. Supervise other projects and staff. Strong development and communication skills needed. Ability to handle multiple projects. Interest in technology and computer education required but computer expertise is not. Mail resume/ cover letter to N. Lasher, St. Nicholas NPC, 11Catherine Street, Brooklyn, 11211 or fax to 718-486-5982.

IIOUSINGIENTTTlENTS PARAL£GAL. The HIV Law Project, a nonprofit legal ser- vices office which represents low-income clients with HIV, seeks paralegal to work with housing attomeys and carry caseload of entitlement clients. Responsibilities will include representing clients at Fair Hearings and Social Security hearings and extensive advocacy with the Division of AIDS Services. College degree or related experience required. Spanish speaking a plus. Salary $27,000. Fax resume and cover letterto 212-B74-7450.

Agency providing residential services to mentally ill adults is seeking a JOB DEVEL- OPER. New position involves coordinating agency wide vocational activities and exist- ing employment services, recruiting potential business contacts, job coaching, and enhancing agency-based supported employment program. Must be willing to travel citywide . BA degree plus 1 year experience in voc/ rehab. Progressive environment. Full benefits and an opportunity for growth. Please send or fax your resume with cover letter indicating salary requirements to: Attn.: Director of Personnel, Beacon of Hope House , 116 East 16th Street, 5th Roor, New York, NY 10003. Fax: 212- 982-2869. Equal Opportunity Employer.

CASES, a major nonprofit dedicated to assuring better futures for court- involved defendants, seeks a COURT REPRESENTA11VE to identify and select defendants who meet eligibility criteria and to advocate on their behalf to judges and ADAs. College degree; knowledge of the not-for-profit and/ or crim- inal justice system preferred; knowledge of word processing and computers; and excellent written and verbal communication skills. Salary $26K. Send resume and cover letter to Director of Personnel, CASES, 346 Broadway, 3rd Roor, New York, NY 10013.

Dynamic youth service organization in East Hartem seeks YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

~ . Responsibilities for new position include implementation, enhance-

ment and expansion of RBI's educational/enrichment curriculum. Position will involve assisting in initial design, construction and evaluation of some programs. Programs include mentoring, after school tutorials, newsletter project, and sum- mer enrichment academy. College degree required. Experience in not for profit or educational setting helpful. Salary commensurate with experience. Full benefits. Send cover letter and resume to: Har1em RBI/Attn: YDD, P.O. Box 87, Hell Gate

rbertin@hartemrb Women and minorities

strongly encouraged to apply. EOE.

Station , NY, NY 10029. Email:

(continued on page 38)


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(continued from page 37)


Community based not-for-profrt in East Harlem seeks energetic, detail oriented, ded- icated and dynamic individual to help create and implement comprehensive

Development and Communications Strategy. Responsibilities include grant research and writing, corporate solicitation, event management, direct mail development, and public/ community relations campaign . College degree required . Experience in fundraising and/or youth development world strongly preferred. Salary commensu- rate with experience. Full benefits. Send cover letter and resume to: Executive Director/Harlem RBI/P.O. Box 871/Hell Gate Station/NY, NY 10029 . Email : rber- Women and minorities strongly encouraged to apply. EOE.






PROJECT DIRECTOR. Newly formed LDC seeks qualified director to manage comm'l revitalization activities on Myrtle Avenue in Ft. Greene/Clinton Hill, Bklyn. Responsibilities incl: project development & implementation, fundrais- ing, community outreach, promotion. Candidate should be highly motivated, independent, w/3-5 years experience in downtown revitalization. Marketing background A+. Must possess excellent communication skills & ability to work w/wide variety of people. Pis. state salary requirements, Fax cover let- ter & resume to: 718-242-0737, Attn: MARC Search Committee. EOE.

PlACEMENTSPECIAUST. B.A. required, with knowledge of and business contacts regarding employment for the mentally ill, formerly homeless population. Strong marketing skillS a must as well as a reasonable understanding of the mentally ill population. Email:, FAX: 212-620-6118.

HIV SERVICES DIt£tTOR.Project Hospitality, a growing community based organ~ zation on SI near ferry seeks a full time Director of HIV Services to administer a broad continuum of services to HIV infected Staten Islanders including those living with mental illness, substance use, and homelessness. Excellent admirr- istrative and clerical skills needed. A sense of perspective in working with a dif- ficult to serve population and a commitment to compassionate care a must. CSW is preferred . We offer a competitive salary and benefits package. Send resume and salary requirements to: Project Hospitality, Inc. Director Human Resources , 100 Park Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10302. EOE M/F/V/H .

, 100 Park Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10302. EOE M/F/V/H . HOUSING CONSULTMlON COORDINATOR AND TRAINER.


at the Housing Resource Consultation Unit of the Housing Resource Center. This unit is responsible for providing placement assistance for homeless per- sons with mental illness, producing the Supportive Housing Vacancy Report and Jobs Journal, maintaining the housing providers and coordinating systerrr- wide advocacy efforts. In addition to supervising the above services, this indi- vidual will provide training to staff of supportive housing programs. Requirements: Master's Degree required (MSW preferred). Rve years human services experience required; two years in supportive housing and two years direct supervisory experience preferred . Computer literacy in word-processing required; use of databases, spreadsheets, networks and on-line information systems preferred. Excellent writing and communication skills required; expe-

rience in training preferred. Salary: mid-$40's + compo benefits. Send cover let- ter and resume to: Peggy Shorr, CUCS, 120 Wall Street, 25th Roor New York,

NY 10005. Fax: 212-635-2191 .


ASSISTANT. FUll-time position available at the

Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS) Housing Resource Center for

an individual to provide training and technical assistance to supportive hous- ing providers and their staff. Eligible applicants are required to have at least five years experience in the following areas : overseeing a supportive hous- ing or other human service program and supervising or training professional staff. Experience working directly with people with special needs and in

employment services

ten and interpersonal skills. Master' s

degree required. Send cover letter and

preferred. Applicants must have excellent verbal , writ-


resume to: Peggy Shorr, CUCS, 120 Wall Street, 25th Roor, New York, NY

10005. Fax: 212-635-2191.

Street, 25th Roor, New York, NY 10005. Fax: 212-635-2191. Prime Office Space: Bronx "HUB" 148th Streetj3rd

Prime Office Space: Bronx "HUB" 148th Streetj3rd Avenue. Join F.E.G.S., Inwood House, Dept. of Mental Health . Two modem buildings-newly built. Space ranging from: 2,500 Square Feet to 18,000 Square Feet. Owner negotiable:

718-625-4403 or 718-624-0390. Fax: 718-522-3518.


The Discipleship Outreach Ministries has the following positions available: PROGRAM DIRECTOR at Site 5220 4th
The Discipleship Outreach Ministries has the following positions available: PROGRAM DIRECTOR at Site 5220 4th

The Discipleship Outreach Ministries has the following positions available:

PROGRAM DIRECTOR at Site 5220 4th Avenue fo