Important CWG Funding News
April 8th, 2010
Chinatown Working Group is please to announce the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation
(LMDC) approved today a $150,000 grant in support of the CWG's planning initiative. CWG wish to
thank the LMDC for this much needed funding for our community-based planning process.
A special thanks to the Office of NYC Deputy Mayor Robert Lieber, Council Member Margaret
Chin and former Council Member Alan Gerson for their efforts in making this grant possible.
The funding will help enable the CWG to create a comprehensive plan for community improvement.
The main purpose of this long sought for funding is to enable the CWG to retain a planning firm
in support of our proposed 197-a Plan. The timing and mechanics of the funding are still to be
worked out. We will, of course, update both the CWG Steering Committee and full CWG as we learn
All of the CWG's Working Teams reported on the status of their proposed Preliminary Action Plan
and Study Area. Two of the four Working Teams - Parks & Immigration and Education & Schools -
formally submitted their recommendations to the full CWG for review. The other two - Economics,
Transportation & Security and Culture, Affordability, Preservation & Zoning - proposed their Study
Areas but will require more time to work on their Action Plans. We hope to post the Working Teams'
proposals on our website within the next few days.
The entire CWG truly owes a debt of gratitude to the members of the Working Teams (particularly
the Working Team Chairs), who have tirelessly, impressively and collegially put together their
plans. These contributions on behalf of our community are much appreciated!
Jim Solomon & Thomas Yu
Chinatown Working Group, Co-chairs
Asian American Arts Centre moves to Lower East Side
33 years perseverance promoting local Asian American artworks.
October 14, 2009
[ Press Release ]
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The Chinatown Working Group
M I S S I O N
The Chinatown Working Group is a community-based planning initiative on the future of Chinatown.
Our goal is to support the community's residents, workers, businesses and visitors. CWG members
include Chinatown's stakeholders' representatives of community groups, Community Boards #1,
2 & 3 and interested parties.
Our focus is on issues of shared concern throughout Chinatown including but not limited to
affordability, preservation, revitalization and the social and economic well being of families,
seniors and youths.
CWG's objective is to articulate common goals for Chinatown's future with consideration for
its impact on adjacent communities, and to formulate and work with City agencies to implement a
precise, comprehensive, meaningful, timely and broadly supported community-based plan.
O B J E C T I V E S
CWG's plan is to create an inventory of existing conditions and identify realistic implementation
strategies that address, among many issues: truly affordable housing, multi-cultural and historic
preservation, economic revitalization and sustainability, commercial stability, residential and
business displacement, small/light manufacturing use, open space, public infrastructure,
transportation, congestion, tenant rights, the environment including air quality, education,
the arts, human rights, immigrant needs, social conflicts and crime, the well being of families,
seniors and youths, and zoning. Although zoning is a powerful planning tool that can be used to
mitigate the potential negative impacts of development in a neighborhood, it is not the only
strategy that should be applied in Chinatown. A broader community-based planning strategy that
goes beyond zoning may be pursued.
S T R A T E G Y
CWG's community-based plan for Chinatown will engage in a democratic, comprehensive and transparent
process in building consensus among diverse groups. CWG will conduct extensive public outreach to
involve as many of Chinatown's stakeholders as possible. CWG meetings will be held regularly
and open to everyone. CWG hopes to have the full cooperation and support of the City for this
community-based initiative including access to staff from various agencies, such as City Planning,
HPD, Small Business Services, Department of Transportation and Economic Development Corporation.
Chinatown Working Group
c/o Community Board #1 Manhattan
49-51 Chambers St., Rm 715
New York, New York 10007
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Cultural Equity Group (CEG)
Attached is letter sent to the City Council outlining our needs to the New York City Department
of Cultural Affairs on May 18, 2008. Although these needs were addressed to the New York City
Council, many of these issues are applicable on the State level.
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Chinatown/Lower Manhattan Residents File Lawsuit to Challenge NYPD's Covert
Construction of Joint Operations Command Center
For Immediate Release
NYPD Is Trying to Avoid Mandated Review Procedures
Wednesday, September 3, 2008, 1:00, Press Conference
Park Row & Worth Street at the NYPD Barricades, New York, NY 10038
The residents of three large residential cooperatives, Chatham Towers, Chatham Green,
and Southbridge Towers, are announcing today that they are challenging the planned construction
of a new $13.8 million, 22,000 square foot 'super high-tech' NYPD Command Bunker in the Police
Plaza complex. The three cooperatives filed a lawsuit last week to rein in the NYPD's attempts
to avoid legally mandated public environmental review procedures and force them to open the
project up for public oversight.
"At a time when the NYPD should be moving critical functions away from our densely populated
residential community, they are trying to establish a Joint Operations Command Center down here.
This is sheer madness. Remember what happened to 7 World Trade Center,� said Danny Chen of the
Civic Center Residents Coalition.
The lawsuit contends that the planned construction of the $13.8 million, 22,000 square foot
Joint Operations Command Center involves a site selection for a capital project, and therefore
must comply with the City Charter's Uniform Land Use Review Procedures. Because the construction
of the Joint Operations Command Center will cause several significant adverse impacts -- such as
exacerbating the traffic and parking problems that followed the closing of streets around the
One Police Plaza complex -- it also must be reviewed under the State and the City Environmental
Quality Review Acts. Under both review procedures the project would be commented upon by the
public, giving them a voice in this troubling land use decision.
"If police headquarters were being built today, there is no way that the community would allow
it to be located in Lower Manhattan. Why would we now want a paramilitary presence in Lower
Manhattan? The NYPD knows how wrong this is and they explicitly lied to us about their intentions
and plans,"� said Jan Lee, another member of the Coalition. The placement of this Joint Operations
Command Center at a key access point in Lower Manhattan, next to the Brooklyn Bridge, will
exacerbate the traffic congestion caused by NYPD security measures creating further bottlenecks
to the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan.
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Cultural Equity Group (CEG) forms to Demand Equitable Funding for Community Arts Organizations of Color
CEG press conference on steps of City Hall, Jan. 9, 2008
BROOKLYN, NY, JANUARY 2, 2008. The Executive Directors of cultural institutions, serving primarily Black,
Latino and Asian communities from all five Boroughs have united to demand equitable funding from the City of New York.
The Cultural Equity Group (CEG) is a coalition of cultural arts organizations and artists working for the equitable
distribution of funds and resources to assure that under resourced and underserved emerging and mid-sized organizations
grounded in the culture and arts of their communities are fairly funded. Although the New York City Department of
Cultural Affairs, under the leadership of Kate Levin, secured an unprecedented amount of funding for cultural institutions
in FY07, organizations headed by leaders of color continued to lag behind. The objective of the Cultural Equity Groups
is to stabilize the field, providing necessary technical assistance and program management resources to assure the
continued growth of the cultural arts field.
In addition to DCA's funding process which is limited to project support only; that is, support from DCA can
only underwrite 50% of the project expenses with very little funding allowed to be allocated for its management
and administration. A reform of the grants process to allow organizations to receive a combination of project and
general support would go a long way to stabilizing arts organizations of color. Similarly, special allocation to
"jump start" organizations of color in facilitating their potential of cultural anchors in communities. Additional
support is also needed to secure health insurance for cultural workers who lack basic benefits from their organizations.
Lastly, organizations that own/rent their facilities are being driven to the brink of bankruptcy because of the escalating
costs for fuel and liability insurance. To that end a special allowance for owners/renters to offset financial pressures.
The aforementioned is a sample of some of the issues.
The New York City Council Black & Latino Caucus has recognized that institutions of color have
gone far too long without the necessary resources needed to provide opportunities for people that live
in communities that are in a state of emergency. On January 9th, 3pm at City Hall, which is less than
one month before organizations all over the City will be applying to the Department of Cultural Affairs,
a hearing has been organized by the City Council for over 200 arts leaders to appeal the current process
and demand that an additional and more equitable fund be created to address this historical disparity that
is destroying the equitable fabric of New York City. To attend the hearing, please contact Caribbean
Cultural Center at 212.307.7423.
download CEG information sheet
Bronx Council on the Arts
[ MORE ]
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AAAC fights to Keep 26 Bowery
June 1st, 2005
AAAC's legal action to prevent eviction from 26 Bowery is over. This
struggle began in October 2004, immediately after our 30th Anniversary
The prospect of eviction from our home of 29 years caused great havoc
anxiety, as it does for anyone faced with this problem. For AAAC it
special problems given the extensive resources collected over many
years. And for
the programs we have built, without an adequate facility, would have
AAAC has been rent stabilized since 1984, but real estate values have
rising rapidly. We found that artists have been constantly affected by
dependent as they are on personal studio space. NY has allowed the
of real estate to have its way with little regard for artists .
remain for the most part powerless despite the value they bring to the
its neighborhoods. This is now a global problem with many large cities
sites of former industries for artists zones. Creative solutions are
for with savvy leadership, and the collaboration of government and
developers. These are far too few and the likelihood of government
caring for its
artists population, realistically is nil.
AAAC on the 3rd floor of 26 Bowery for 28 years, is
above McDonalds which has been here for about 3 years. You may have
seen this facade in the film, 'SuperSize Me!'
AAAC's plight is very similar to that of artists and other community
institutions, the crunch of property and economic forces that engulfs
all, and the equation that the legal and political structure has
Overlooked in this equation is the anguish, the disruption, and
inhumanity to others that is taken for granted, disregarded or
unavoidable. More needs to be done to wake artists and the arts
community to their
collective condition, so that together we can generate the will and
In our particular case, before the costs for continuing the legal
would have skyrocketed, AAAC settled out of court. We expect to sign a
soon where we are no longer stabilized by IMD status of the Loft Law.
go up over the next 4 years to commercial levels till we will pay 4
than we pay currently. In Sept 2005 our rent will nearly double. What
is time to increase annual income and grants and/or time to plan to
more deliberation to, perhaps, a modest facility where a different
activities can be formulated and funding found to support them.
Much of what began during this crisis will continue, for example,
secure home for our extensive collected resources.
We want to thank the many friends and artists who came forth to support
during this crisis. We thank all those who gave of their time to
advise us and
are continuing to help us navigate through this continuing evolving
We thank those who wrote support letters on our behalf, many of these
passionate statements that we will be forever grateful for. And we
thank you our reader, many of you who have donated to support AAAC and
to support us with your concern and contributions. Thanks to you all.
vision of an Asian American Contemporary Art Museum continues!
To make a donation, online or by mail, please click this button:
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