Froma High-Rise to the Highest Court Sonia Sotomayor, Pres by rpv32164


                                                                                                                                                                             U Postage
                                                                                                                                                                            New York, NY
                                                                                                                                                                           Permit No. 4119

From a High-Rise to the Highest Court
Vol. 39, No. 7                                                                                                                                  JULY 2009

Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s
Nominee for Supreme Court Justice
                            By Heidi Morales
IF   YOU'RE A NATIVENEW YORKER        form part of the highest court.
OR PERHAPS A FAN OF THE    NEW        For the past 11 years, she has
YORK    YANKEES, THE NAME SONIA       been a judge on the United
SOTOMAYOR      MAY HAVE SOUNDED       States Court of Appeals for
FAMILIAR TO YOU EVEN BEFORE           the Second Circuit, based in
OBAMA’S NOMINEE FOR U.S.                 Ms. Sotomayor, who is of
SUPREME COURT JUSTICE. In 1995        Puerto Rican descent, was born
                                      in 1954 and grew up in the New
Judge Sotomayor became as
                                      York City Housing Authority's
legendary as baseball hall-of-
                                      (NYCHA's) Bronxdale Houses.
famers for ending a long baseball     Bronxdale Houses, located in the
strike by ruling against owners in    Bruckner section of the Bronx,
favor of players. According to        has 28 seven-story buildings with     DAY ONE (from left) NYCHA Board Member Margarita López, Deputy General Manager for
Ms. Sotomayor, the owners             1,496 apartments. Bronxdale is        Finance Felix Lam, Citywide Council of Presidents Chair Reggie Bowman, NYCHA Chair John B.
were trying to destroy the labor      home to approximately 3,500           Rhea and City Council Member Alan Gerson at the Rutgers Houses in Manhattan on Chair
                                      residents. A modern, high-tech        Rhea’s first day on the job.
                                      Community Center opened its
                                      doors on the grounds of this          NEW CHAIR VISITS FIVE BOROUGHS ON
                                      development back in 2007, and
                                      offers educational and recre-         WHIRLWIND, FIRST-DAY MEET-AND-GREET
                                      ational activities for children and
                                      adults of the development and
                                                                                                                        By Howard Silver
                                      the surrounding community.            JOHN B. RHEA BEGAN DAY ONE AS CHAIR OF THE NEW YORK CITY HOUSING AUTHORITY WITH WELCOME REMARKS
                                         Ms. Sotomayor was raised in        TO EXECUTIVE AND SENIOR MANAGERS IN A STAFF MEETING FOLLOWED BY A FULL DAY OF FIELD VISITS IN ALL FIVE
                                      public housing by her mother,         BOROUGHS TO BEGIN MEETING AND TALKING TO RESIDENTS, EMPLOYEES, ELECTED OFFICIALS AND OTHER PARTNERS.

                                      who worked as a nurse at a
                                      methadone clinic to support Ms.
                                                                              Chair Rhea had an easy rapport     public housing families, as well        At the Queens Community
                                                                            with the many stakeholders that      as its physical assets.
                                      Sotomayor and her brother,
                                                                                                                                                      House, Pomonok Center in
                                                                            he met on Monday, June 1st, who         At Rutgers Houses on
                                      Juan. At the tender age of eight,
                                                                                                                                                      Flushing, the new Chair was
                                                                            also included members of the         Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the
                                      Ms. Sotomayor was diagnosed
                                                                                                                                                      greeted by Department for the
                                                                            NYPD and staff from community        Chair met with Council Members
                                      with diabetes and just one
                                                                                                                                                      Aging Commissioner Lilliam
                                                                            based organizations, and clearly     Rosie Mendez and Alan J.
                                      year later her father, a factory
  Judge Sonia Sotomayor                                                                                          Gerson, Citywide Council of          Barrios-Paoli for a discussion of
                                                                            showed his interest in hearing
                                      worker, died of a heart condi-
 speaks at Pace University                                                                                       President (COP) Chair Reginald       senior services at NYCHA
                                                                            what they had to say.
                                      tion. She is no stranger to
   Graduation Ceremony                                                                                           Bowman, Manhattan South              developments. He also met
                                                                              “My job here today is to hear
                                      adversity, but she did not let
     Photo Credit: Pace University                                          your concerns so that when I         COP Chair Rose Bergin, and           with Queens COP Chair Ann

                                      these challenges deter her from
                                                                                                                 Resident Association President       Cotton Morris.
system and the concept of
                                                                            go back I can take them into
                                      reaching her goals.
                                                                                                                 Michael Steele before inspecting        In the Melrose section of the
collective bargaining. A die-hard
                                                                            consideration,” said Chair Rhea.
                                         Judge Sotomayor attended
                                                                                                                 an energy-efficient boiler room      Bronx, at Adams Houses, Chair
fan of the Bronx Bombers
                                                                            “This is a great time for public
                                      Cardinal Spellman High School,
                                                                                                                 there. “Sometimes the best way to    Rhea met with Human Resources
herself, Judge Sotomayor took
                                                                            housing, with new support from
                                      a private Catholic school in the
                                                                                                                 see how things work is to go         Administration (HRA) Commis-
only 15 minutes to issue the
                                                                            Washington, stimulus funds, and
                                      Bronx, and was later accepted
                                                                                                                 where the ‘guts’ of the operations
                                                                                                                                                      sioner Robert Doar and engaged
directive that led to the settle-
                                                                            the need for affordable housing      are housed,” said Rhea.
                                      into Princeton University, where
                                                                                                                                                      Borough President Ruben Diaz,
ment in the 1994-95 strike and
                                                                            more pressing than ever.”               At the next stop, Bushwick
                                      she graduated with honors at
                                                                                                                                                      Jr. and Council Member Maria
make baseball history.
                                                                              Crowds gathered in front of        Houses in Brooklyn, the Chair
                                      a time when the school had
                                                                                                                                                      del Carmen Arroyo in a spirited
   Now Judge Sotomayor is
                                                                            Management Offices as the Chair      was greeted by Assembly Member
                                      just begun to accept female
                                                                                                                                                      discussion about job training
making headlines again as the
                                                                            arrived, and accompanied him on      Vito Lopez, City Council Member
                                      students. She then went on to
                                                                                                                                                      and placement opportunities at
President’s nominee to replace
                                                                            walks throughout development         Erik Martin Dilan and Borough
                                      study law at Yale Law School,
                                                                                                                                                      NYCHA’s Resident Employment
retiring Supreme Court Justice
                                                                            grounds. Conversations went          President Marty Markowitz, as
                                      where she was editor of the                                                                                     Services satellite office located
David H. Souter. If confirmed by
                                                                            beyond pleasantries to include       well as Resident Association
                                      school's law journal. Her inspira-                                                                              there. Bronx South COP Chair
the U.S. Senate, Ms. Sotomayor,
                                                                            comments the Chair solicited         President Gloria Bonilla. He then
                                      tion to pursue a career in law                                                                                  John Johnson and Bronx North
who has more than 16 years of
                                                                            about how NYCHA can improve          visited an elevator motor room on
                                      came from reading Nancy Drew                                                                                    COP Chair Herma Williams
court experience, will become
                                                                            services for residents and provide   the rooftop of one of the build-
                                      detective novels and watching                                                                                   joined Resident Association
the first Latina ever to serve on
                                                                            employees with the support they      ings, after which, he viewed
                                      episodes of Perry Mason, a                                                                                      President Sylvia Sierra at Adams
the U.S. Supreme Court and the
                                                                            need. The day’s activities allowed   CCTV footage with NYPD Hou-
                                      defense attorney, on TV.                                                                                        to meet the new Chair.
third woman in U.S. history to
                                                                            the Chair to gain insight into the   sing Bureau Brooklyn Borough
                                                 (Continued on page 5)      Authority’s programs serving         Commander Gerald Dieckman.                     (Continued on page 10)

PAGE 2                                                             PAGE 3                                                                     PAGE 8
20TH ANNUAL                                                        THE BEST YEARS FOR PUBLIC                                                  SUMMER FEEDING
RESIDENT ART SHOW                                                  HOUSING IN NYC ARE STILL AHEAD                                             PROGRAM SITES
2   JULY 2009

                                                                          OVER 200 RESIDENTS RECEIVE AWARDS
                                                                          AT 20TH ANNUAL RESIDENT ARTS SHOW
             Become A FDNY Fire
             Protection Inspector                                                                                                                                              Independence Houses in the
                                                                                                                                                                               Bronx, who won an award for a
                                    THE FIRE DEPARTMENT       OF   NEW                                                                                                         group mixed media project,
                                    YORK CITY (FDNY) IS       LOOKING                                                                                                          said his favorite thing about
                                    FOR   CANDIDATES     TO   BECOME                                                                                                           creating the piece was, “We
                                   FIRE PROTECTION INSPECTORS.                                                                                                                 could do it all together and help
                                   Becoming a Fire Protection                                                                                                                  each other.”
                                   Inspector will give you a real                                                                                                                 Consultant Carlton Murrell
                                   opportunity to make a positive                                                                                                              taught at Pomonok Houses in
                                   impact in the lives of others — as                                                                                                          Queens and at Breukelen and
                                   well as your own. Applications                                                                                                              Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn
                                   submitted by New York City                                                                                                                  over the past year, his ninth year
                                   Housing Authority (NYCHA)                                                                                                                   with program. “I like the fact
                                   residents will be fast-tracked                                                                                                              that people have something to
                                   for consideration.                                                                                                                          say, to express, to create from
                                      A Fire Protection Inspector                                                                                                              the heart,” Mr. Murrell said of
conducts inspections of premises to ensure that they are in                                                                                                                    his experience teaching.
compliance with all rules, regulations and requirements of the New                                                                                                                The art was on display from
York City Administrative Code regarding life and fire safety.                                                                                                                  June 2nd through the 19th.
The kinds of inspections you would perform may include: inspec-
                                                                          NURTURING TALENT NYCHA Vice-Chair Earl Andrews,
tions of sprinkler/standpipe systems, carbonated gas systems and
                                                                          Jr. (left) and Chair John B. Rhea with a young artist awardee.
extinguishing systems. If assigned to District Office Headquarters
your responsibilities may include: inspecting for permits governing                                    By Eileen Elliott
the storage of flammables and combustible mixtures and compressed         ONCE AGAIN, THE RUTGERS                Lucero, who has been running the
gasses; if assigned to the Public Safety Unit you would perform           HOUSES COMMUNITY CENTER                program from the beginning, as
safety inspections on hotels and office buildings; in the Field Public    ON MANHATTAN’S LOWER EAST              well as all of the Center Directors
Communications Unit you would handle and address complaints               SIDE WAS OVERFLOWING WITH              and artist-consultants. “We hope to
from the public and private sectors. Other responsibilities may           THE      DRAWINGS,      PAINTINGS,     do more programs like this,” Mr.
include representing the FDNY at the New York City Board of               PHOTOGRAPHS, COLLAGES, MURALS          Spence said, as he thanked
Standards and Appeals; conducting inspections of building                 AND SCULPTURES OF THE HUNDREDS         NYCHA’s Board — the Chair,
construction; completing and issuing violation forms, orders and/or       OF NEW YORK CITY HOUSING               Vice-Chair and Member Margarita
summonses; testifying in court when required; reviewing,                  AUTHORITY (NYCHA) RESIDENTS            López, for supporting the program.
formulating and amending the New York City Administrative Code;           WHOSE WORK WAS SELECTED FOR            Before the actual awards were
or working with the Fireworks Safety Group to conduct safety              THE 20TH ANNUAL RESIDENT               handed out the NYCHA Youth
inspections and monitor all fireworks shows throughout the City.          ART SHOW EXHIBIT.                      Chorus performed an uplifting
                                                                             “To all of the young artists who    musical selection, under the
                                                                          are here today, your friends and       direction of Larry Matthew and
Salary and Benefits
                                                                          families, you should be very           Carrie Jones.
  The starting salary for a Fire Protection Inspector is $33,291 for
                                                                          proud,” said NYCHA Chair John            NYCHA            Creative               Arts
the first year and $38,285 after two years of service. In addition, you
                                                                          B. Rhea at the Youth Awards            Manager Juan Santiago called
will receive excellent health and pension benefits with domestic
                                                                          Ceremony which was held at the         each artist up to the front of the
partner coverage, two weeks of vacation a year to start, overtime and
                                                                          Center on June 4th. “Please            room to receive a medal from
a 35 hour work week with paid holidays.
                                                                          don’t lose that sense of wonder        Chairman Rhea.
                                                                          and excitement.” The Chair
Hiring Requirements
                                                                                                                   One of those artists, eight-year-

                                                                          prefaced his comments by saying
   In order to be appointed as a Fire Protection Inspector, you must be
                                                                                                                 old Juan Rodriguez of Ft.
                                                                          he was “blown away,” by the
18 years of age; hold a valid New York State motor vehicle driver’s

                                                                          creativity of the work.
license; complete the pre-employment process consisting of a

                                                                             Three professional artists served               The Housing Authority
comprehensive background investigation; have a high school

                                                                          as judges, making their selection
diploma or equivalent; and have three years of satisfactory full-time

                                                                          of the 375 artworks for the exhibit
experience in one or a combination of the following:

                                                                          from an incredible 800 submis-
   —Design, installation, operation, repair, testing or inspection of

                                                                          sions. These submissions reflected
fire suppression and/or extinguishing systems and/or refrigeration,

                                                                          the work of many of the 6,000
air-conditioning or oil-heating systems; or
                                                                                                                            ESTABLISHED 1970 • CIRCULATION 200,000
                                                                          NYCHA residents who partici-
   —The formulation, enforcement or implementation of safety

                                                                          pated in the Harborview Visual
standards and programs in the manufacture and/or storage of                                                               Published monthly by the New York City Housing Authority

                                                                          Arts program at 60 Community
materials which are potential fire hazards; or                                                                                              Department of Communications
                                                                                                                                       250 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10007
                                                                          Centers throughout the City,
   —The inspection of facilities for compliance with fire and
                                                                                                                                    Tel (212) 306-3322 • Fax (212) 577-1358
                                                                          under the guidance of 28
building codes and other safety inspection standards and the enforce-
                                                                          Harborview artist-consultants.
ment of these codes and standards;
                                                                                                                             Michael R. Bloomberg...........................................Mayor
                                                                             NYCHA Vice-Chair Earl
   —Service as a Certified Fire Safety Director; or

                                                                          Andrews, Jr. also spoke,
   —Thirty semester credits from an accredited college or university                                                John B. Rhea....................................................................................Chair
                                                                                                                    Earl Andrews, Jr. .....................................................................Vice-Chair
                                                                          commenting that he was privi-
in fire science technology; fire protection engineering; chemical,
                                                                                                                    Margarita López ...............................................................Board Member
                                                                          leged to attend the awards cere-
mechanical, environmental, electrical or marine engineering, or
                                                                                                                    Vilma Huertas............................................................................Secretary
                                                                          mony for senior artists held earlier
chemistry; or                                                                                                       Douglas Apple ..............................................................General Manager

                                                                          in the week. Mr. Andrews
   —A certificate of completion from an approved union-sponsored                                                    Sheila Greene ........................Director, Department of Communications

                                                                          encouraged the youth to continue
plumbing inspection program or satisfactory completion of a course                                                  Eileen Elliott...................................................................................Editor
                                                                                                                    Heidi Morales......................................................Editor, Spanish Edition
                                                                          to express themselves throughout
of study in plumbing from an accredited trade/high school and two
                                                                                                                    Howard Silver ....................................................Editor, NYCHA Bulletin
                                                                          their lives as they have with
years of satisfactory full-time experience in general plumbing.
                                                                                                                    Tischelle George.......................................................Online News Editor
                                                                          their art.
How to Become a FDNY Fire Protection Inspector                                                                      Deborah Williams..................................................................Staff Writer

                                                                             NYCHA’s Department of
   Interested New York City Housing Authority residents should                                                      Peter Mikoleski, Leticia Barboza.........................................Photography
call NYCHA’s Department of Resident Employment Services                   Community Operations Deputy               If you are interested in placing an advertisement in the Journal, please call
at (718) 250-5904. For more information, visit the FDNY website,          General Manager Hugh Spence               our marketing representatives in the Office of Business and Revenue                                                         thanked his staff, including              Development at (212) 306-6616. The inclusion of any advertisement in this
                                                                          Harborview Visual Arts Program
                                                                                                                    Journal does not constitute any endorsement by the Housing Authority of

                                                                          Community Coordinator William
                                              Michael R. Bloomberg                                                  the advertiser or its products or services or any other representation by the
                                                                                                                    Housing Authority with respect to such products or services.
                                                                                                                                      THE HOUSING AUTHORITY JOURNAL
                                                                                                                                                                     JULY 2009        3
                                                                              DOLLARS AVAILABLE
                                                                              FOR RESIDENT
CHAIR’S MESSAGE                                                                                                               DEBORAH’S DIARY By Deborah Williams

                                                                                                                                        Inspired — When Joanne Smitherman was
 The Best Years for Public Housing                                                                                                      just a young girl her mother used to get frus-

                                                                                                                                         trated with her because she didn’t take much
 in New York City Are Still Ahead                                                                                                        interest in their community. But with age and
                                      GREETINGS! I                                                                                       motherhood Joanne’s carefree attitude soon
                                                                              EACH YEAR THE U.S. DEPARTMENT
                                                        AM TAKING THE
                                                                                                                                        changed. “I was walking past Kingsbridge
                                                                              OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOP-
                                      OPPORTUNITY OF USING MY FIRST
                                      COLUMN AS CHAIRMAN TO TELL YOU                                                                  and 161st Street and someone handed me a
                                                                              MENT (HUD) PROVIDES PUBLIC
                                      A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MYSELF, AND                                                              leaflet,” Ms. Smitherman said. “There was infor-
                                                                              HOUSING AUTHORITIES AROUND THE
                                      HIGHLIGHT    MY    PRIORITIES   FOR                                        mation about a community meeting that evening. I decided to
                                                                              COUNTRY WITH MONIES FOR EACH
                                      THE   NEW YORK CITY HOUSING                                                attend. That was my very first community meeting.”
                                                                              FEDERALLY FUNDED DWELLING UNIT
                                       AUTHORITY (NYCHA).                                                           That was just the beginning of what would turn into years of
                                                                              TO BE USED FOR RESIDENT EMPOW-
                                         First, let me say that I am                                             community involvement. “The very first organization I joined was
                                                                              ERMENT PROGRAMS .   To utilize
                                       grateful to the leadership that has                                       back in 1960 — The National Welfare Group. I would attend rallies
                                       held NYCHA together for so many        this funding, recognized           and sit-ins and sure I got arrested but I never went to jail. I remember
                                       years and particularly over the last   Resident Association Presi-        being inspired by listening to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the
                                       few months. I would like to            dents must submit proposals        Reverend and Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. and Reverend
                                       personally thank Ricardo Elías         to the New York City               Jesse Jackson. Listening to them taught me the importance of infor-
                                       Morales for his stewardship as         Housing Authority (NYCHA)          mation sharing and communication,” said Ms. Smitherman.
interim Chairman. I also want to thank my fellow Board Members, Earl          through      their      District
Andrews, Jr. and Margarita López, for their professionalism and unwa-         Council of Presidents (COP),                            Community Involvement
vering commitment to NYCHA.                                                   outlining the program(s)             She moved into Highbridge Gardens in the Bronx 50 years ago,
   It is an honor and privilege to be entrusted by Mayor Michael R.           they would like to imple-          raised five children there and has served three terms, each
Bloomberg with the mammoth job of running this agency. I believe my           ment, in accordance with           consisting of three years, as the Bronx South Council of President
experiences have trained me well to take on the challenges —                  HUD specifications.                (COP) District Chair. You could hear the seriousness in her voice as
and equally important the opportunities — that NYCHA faces at this              The Tenant Participation         she told me, “I was always a boisterous person when it came to
critical juncture.                                                            Activity program, or TPA, is a     getting my point across. I would attend all the Tenant Association
   I’ve spent 20 years in the private sector competing in high perfor-        great way to encourage resi-       meetings and spoke regularly about the changes needed in
mance environments where customer service was the key to success. I           dents to get involved and          Highbridge Gardens and other developments in the South Bronx.
intend to bring that same energy, drive and customer focus to serving         become active participants         I guess that’s probably why, back then, I was approached by three
NYCHA residents each and every day.                                           in the lives of their commu-       members who sat on the Council of Presidents and asked to run in
   Both residents and staff can count on me to ask for your opinion often     nities. HUD implemented the        the upcoming election as Bronx South Council of Presidents
and to act on what you tell me. In fact, during my first few weeks as         TPA program in 2001, and           District Chair.”
Chair, I asked NYCHA’s employees to fill out an anonymous,                    strictly regulates its funding.      She was a little hesitant at first because she didn’t really know
confidential questionnaire to help me get a better sense of what the          Eligible activities include        much about the position, but nonetheless decided to run.
real underlying issues are at the Housing Authority. I also had a chance      programs that help residents       Ms. Smitherman had previously held the position of Highbridge
to meet with residents, staff, elected officials and police officers          improve their quality of life,     Gardens Resident Association Secretary and Resident Association
at NYCHA developments in each borough my first day on the                     such as leadership training        President and now with certainty in her voice she said,
job and found the many conversations we had to be very helpful                and programs which teach           “I figured that I could help change things because in my eyes
and informative.                                                              business and job-related           something more needed to be done.”
   Having grown up in a large city where access to education, jobs, and       skills. Resident Association
quality, affordable housing in safe neighborhoods were of concern to          Presidents submit proposals                                   Change Comes
many residents, I understand the challenges many NYCHA residents              to NYCHA and to their                 Ms. Smitherman has led the way in the use of Tenant Participa-
confront every day.                                                           COP District Chair, and            tion Activity (TPA) Funds. (See article to the left of this column.)
   Though I grew up in Detroit, Michigan, I’ve lived in New York City         receive a determination            TPA funds are allocated by the U.S. Department of Housing
for most of my adult life — in both Brooklyn and Manhattan — and              within 30 days.                    and Urban Development (HUD) specifically for public housing
understand the unique make-up of our city and the tremendous vibrancy           NYCHA is currently working       residents to finance a variety of initiatives that promote community
that exists as a result of ethnic and cultural diversity. NYCHA adds to       with all nine COP Districts on     involvement and improvement, self-sufficiency and leadership.
that richness in so many communities in all five boroughs.                    their program submissions.         Ms. Smitherman submitted 84 proposals for programs that
   NYCHA has been and will continue to be an important part of the            Many District Councils are         she believed would benefit the youth, young parents, students and
affordable housing equation as it is a critical means for lower income,       holding retreats and semi-
                                                                              nars to facilitate the TPA
                                                                                                                                                                  (Continued on page 5)
immigrant and minority communities to have an opportunity to gain
stability and begin building better lives for themselves.                     program. The Bronx South
   NYCHA is also an economic engine and our community programs                District held a three-day
are critical to the neighborhoods in which we operate. I intend to nurture    retreat in March 2009
them to ensure we are doing all we can to support the communities             covering topics such as:
NYCHA residents are committed to building. We will also use                   Understanding Principles of
NYCHA’s economic clout to help residents secure jobs and build                Leadership; Recruitment and
businesses wherever possible.                                                 Retention (of residents into
   This is a great time to be taking over the leadership of NYCHA. As         the Resident Association);
we celebrate our 75th year — our diamond anniversary — it is ener-            and Conducting Successful
gizing to know that the Administration in Washington is committed to          Meetings and Project Plan-
moving toward full funding of public housing once again and has               ning. The Bronx North has
showed its commitment by providing NYCHA with $423 million in                 scheduled a similar retreat.
federal stimulus funding to make critical capital improvements. It is         The Manhattan North District
exciting to pick up the newspaper and to read stories celebrating famous      has also utilized TPA funding
NYCHA alumnae, like Supreme Court Justice nominee, Sonia                      successfully by implementing
Sotomayor. It reminds all of us at NYCHA that the people we serve             three computer training
every day share the same aspirations as all Americans — to provide            programs, and using TPA
their children with a safe and secure place to grow and pursue                funds to buy new computers.
their dreams.                                                                   It is important to remember
                                                                              that the TPA program is
                                                                                                                 Bronx South Council Of Presidents Chair and Mott Haven
   NYCHA has a tremendous legacy to reclaim. We will work
                                                                              resident-driven. It is up to
                                                                                                                 Resident Association President John Johnson, City Council
diligently to ensure that every single unit of public housing is preserved
                                                                              Resident Associations and their
                                                                                                                 Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Assistant Police Chief
for future generations. I say this with the deepest sense of commitment
                                                                              COP Districts to initiate the
                                                                                                                 Edward Delatorre of PSA #7, Bronx District Attorney Robert
because I believe there is no nobler cause than to serve the community.
                                                                              process. NYCHA is, however,
                                                                                                                 Johnson and former Bronx South Council of Presidents Chair
The best years for public housing are still ahead.
                                                                              very happy to provide technical
                                                                                                                 Joanne Smitherman, now Bronx South Vice-Chair, at the COP
                                                                                                                 Installation Ceremony held at the Mott Haven Community
                                                           John B. Rhea                (Continued on page 10)    Center on May 26th.
4    JULY 2009

    THE NYCHA NOT WANTED LIST                                                                               In Memoriam
                                                                           NEW YORK CITY                    Police Officer
In this issue we continue publishing the names of individuals who have
been permanently excluded from our public housing developments.
                                                                              HOUSING                       Omar J. Edwards
The purpose of this list is to keep residents informed of the Housing                                       February 4, 1984 —
                                                                                                            May 28, 2009
Authority’s ongoing efforts to improve the quality of life for all New
Yorkers in public housing and to allow for the peaceful and safe use          Board Meeting
of our facilities. What follows is a partial list of the people excluded                                    The New York City Housing
after hearings were held on March 25, and April 1 and 8, 2009. For a                                        Authority would like to
                                                                                                            extend its condolences to the
                                                                                                            family, friends and colleagues
full list of the “Not Wanted” visit NYCHA’s Website at                     Notice is hereby given that
                                                                           the New York City Housing
                                                                                                            of Police Officer Omar J. Please note: These exclusions are based
                                                                           Authority’s Board Meetings
                                                                                                            Edwards. On May 28th, the
on NYCHA’s Administrative Hearing Process and should not be
                                                                           take place every other
                                                                                                            25-year-old Officer, who had served with the Housing
confused with the Trespass Notice Program under Mayor                      Wednesday at 10:00 A.M.

                                                                                                            Bureau’s Manhattan Impact Response Team for two years,
Bloomberg’s Operation Safe Housing Initiative.
                                                                           (unless otherwise noted) in

         IF YOU SEE ANY OF THESE INDIVIDUALS ON                                                             was shot and killed in a case of mistaken identity while
                                                                           the Board Room on the 12th

                                                                                                            attempting to arrest a man who he caught breaking into
                                                                           Floor of 250 Broadway, New
                                                                                                            his car.
                                                                           York, New York. The meetings
                                                                           for the remainder of the
                                                                           Calendar Year 2009 are
                                                                                                            A service was held for Officer Edwards on June 4th at
                                                                           as follows:
Prohibited as of March 25, 2009                                                                             Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church in
Joseph Kennedy Case 312/09 formerly associated with the fourteenth                                          Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
                                                                              July 8, 2009
                  floor of 111 Bridge Street, Farragut Houses,
                                                                              July 22, 2009
                  Brooklyn.                                                                                 Officer Edwards is survived by his wife, Danielle, two
                                                                              August 5, 2009

                                                                                                            sons, Xavier and Keanu, his mother Natalia Harding, his
                                                                              August 19, 2009
Prohibited as of April 1, 2009                                                September 2, 2009
Messiah Sosa      Case 1963/09 formerly associated with the second
                                                                              September 16, 2009            father Ricardo Edwards, a brother, Alfonso Williams,
                  floor of 224 York Street, Farragut Houses, Brooklyn.                                      grandmothers Maria Burkett and Maria Edwards,
                                                                              September 30, 2009

Eliyah Bussey      Case 3/09 formerly associated with the second                                            grandfather George Harding, aunts, uncles, cousins and
                                                                              October 14, 2009

Ishiyah Bussey     floor of 445 Fountain Avenue, Cypress Hill Houses,                                       friends and colleagues.
                                                                              October 28, 2009

                                                                                                            West Nile Virus
                                                                              November 10, 2009
John Pope          Brooklyn.                                                  (Tuesday)

Makai Jackson      Case 2014/09 formerly associated with the third

                                                                                                            Mosquito Treatment
                                                                              November 25, 2009

Floyd Johnson      floor of 12-50 Redfern Avenue, Redfern Houses,
                                                                              December 9, 2009

                   Far Rockaway.
                                                                              December 23, 2009

Angel Chapman      Case 1977/09 formerly associated with the thir
                                                                           Please note that these dates

                   teenth floor of 131 Belmont Avenue, Seth Low/                                            The New York City Housing Authority will be treating
                                                                           are subject to change.

                   Glenmore Houses, Brooklyn.                                                               all of the catch basins located on Housing Authority
                                                                           Any changes to the schedule

                                                                                                            developments to reduce the mosquito population in an
                                                                           above will be posted on
Kevin Stokes       Case 2279/09 formerly associated with the tenth
                                                                           NYCHA’s        Website      at
                   floor of 60 West 104th Street, Douglass Houses,
                                                                  and in the         effort to minimize the transmission of the West Nile Virus.
                   Manhattan.                                                                               These applications will take place between May and
                                                                           NYCHA Journal to the extent
                                                                                                            October of 2009. One or more of the following pesticides
                                                                           practicable at a reasonable
Corey Watson       Case 2290/09 formerly associated with the twelfth                                        will be used:
                                                                           time before the meeting.
                   floor of 1191 Park Place, Albany Houses,
                                                                           These meetings are open to
                   Brooklyn.                                                                                 -Vectolex CG, EPA Reg. No. 73049-20, Toxicity
                                                                           the public. Pre-registration

                                                                                                            Category – ”Caution”
                                                                           of speakers is required.
Kimberly Smith     Case 904/09 formerly associated with the third          Those who wish to register
                   floor of 94 Centre Mall, Red Hook East Houses,
                                                                           must do so at least forty-five
                   Brooklyn.                                                                                  -Summit B.t.i. Briquets, EPA Reg. No. 6218-47,
                                                                           (45) minutes before the
                                                                                                            Toxicity Category – ”Caution”
Jose Hernandez     Case 1490/09 formerly associated with the sixteenth
                                                                           scheduled Board Meeting.
                                                                           Comments are limited to
                   floor of 3150 Broadway, Grant Houses, Manhattan.
                                                                                                             -Altosid XR, EPA Reg. No. 2724-421, Toxicity
                                                                           the items on the agenda.

Jonathan /         Case 0156/09 formerly associated with the second                                         Category – ”Caution”
                                                                           Speakers will be heard in

Jonathon           floor of 225 Hoyt Street, Gowanus Houses,
                                                                           the order of registration.

Fernandez          Brooklyn.
                                                                           Speaking time will be limited
                                                                           to three (3) minutes. The        Contact names and numbers for this application are:
Reno Smith         Case 2321/09 formerly associated with the seventh
                                                                           public comment period
                   floor of 93 Lewis Avenue, Roosevelt Houses,                                              NYC Housing Authority:
                                                                           will conclude upon all

                                                                           speakers being heard or at

Tara Almon         Case 2310/09 formerly associated with the third                                           -Cal Bruno, Deputy Director,              718-707-5281
                                                                           the expiration of thirty

                                                                                                             available from 9:00AM - 5:00PM
                                                                           (30) minutes allotted by
                   floor of 56 Roxbury Street, Mariner’s Harbor            law for public comment,
                   Houses, Staten Island.                                  whichever occurs first. For
                                                                                                             -Jamal Rashid, Technical Resource Advisor,
Prohibited as of April 8, 2009
                                                                           Board Meeting dates and
                                                                                                             718-707-5808 available from 8:00AM – 4:00PM
                                                                           times, and/or additional
Jon Smith Jr.     Case 2091/09 formerly associated with the second         information, please visit our
                  floor of 155-11 71st Avenue, Pomonok Houses,
                                                                                                             -NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation,
                                                                           Website at
                                                                                                             Region 2, Bureau of Pesticide Management –
                                                                           or contact us at (212)
Darnell           Case 2115/09 formerly associated with the third                                            718-482-4994
                                                                           306-6088. Copies of the

Thompson          floor of 11 Bridge Street, Farragut Houses,
                                                                           agenda can be picked up

                                                                           at the Office of the Secre-
                                                                           tary at 250 Broadway,             -National Pesticide Telecommunications Network –
Victor Corporan Case 2116/09 formerly associated with the first            12th floor, New York, New
Christopher     floor of 75 LaSalle Street, Grant Houses,                  York, no earlier than 3 P.M.
Brown           Manhattan.                                                                                    Inquiries concerning symptoms of pesticide poisoning
                                                                           on     the    Friday   before

Anita Jenkins      Case 1393/09 formerly associated with the first                                          should be directed to the Poison Control Center – 1-800-
                                                                           the upcoming Wednesday

Jonee Williams     floor of 717 East 108th Street, Breukelen Houses,                                        222-1222.
                                                                           Board Meeting. Any person

                                                                           requiring     a    reasonable
                                                                           accommodation in order to
                                                                           participate in the Board
         For a full list of the “Not Wanted”                               Meeting should contact the
                                                                           Office of the Secretary at
             visit NYCHA’s website at                                      (212) 306-6088 no later than
                                         five (5) business days before
                                                                           the Board Meeting.
                                                           THE HOUSING AUTHORITY JOURNAL
                                                                                          JULY 2009        5
Highest Court                         DEBORAH’S DIARY                              By Deborah Williams
          (Continued from page 1)                                                   (Continued from page 3)
   Ms. Sotomayor worked as an
Assistant District Attorney for
                                      seniors in Highbridge Gardens and several other South Bronx

New York District Attorney
                                      developments. She was successful in bringing 67 of the 84 proposed

Robert Morgenthau and for
                                      programs to fruition.

several years litigated cases for a
                                         “I was able to accomplish this because I got my Resident Associa-

private law firm until that big day
                                      tion Presidents to come to the monthly meetings and their attendance

when she was nominated to sit on
                                      made their development eligible for TPA funds.” In return, together,

the U.S. District Court for the
                                      “My Resident Association Presidents and I were able to get telephone

Southern District of New York. At
                                      equipment installed at [Resident Association Offices in] a few

age 40, Ms. Sotomayor became
                                      developments; at Adams Houses karate classes were held; Mitchell

the youngest judge in the
                                      Houses was host to an Adult Leadership and Entrepreneurship

Southern District of New York
                                      program; Mott Haven Houses offered Entrepreneurship and Young

and the first American of Puerto
                                      Parent Leadership programs; Highbridge Gardens held its first

Rican descent to hold this
                                      Intergenerational program where seniors and youth attended

position. In 1992 she was
                                      Broadway shows that included “The Color Purple”; Patterson, Mill

confirmed to serve as a U.S.
                                      Brook and Butler held College Tours to several Historical Black

Circuit Court Judge becoming the
                                      University/Colleges; Claremont Village and Teller Avenue offered

first Puerto Rican woman to serve
                                      exercise and arts-and-crafts programs. There were mentoring and

as a federal Judge in New York.
                                      housekeeping programs offered as well,” Ms. Smitherman said

Then in 1998, President Bill
                                      proudly. In addition, Ms. Smitherman, said she is responsible for

Clinton nominated her for a seat
                                      getting more of NYCHA’s Executive Staff to attend the monthly COP

on the second highest court in
                                      meeting where she distributed informational packets. “I always kept

America, the U.S. Court of
                                      my Vice-Presidents informed about everything thing I was doing,”

Appeals in the Second Circuit, a
                                      said Ms. Smitherman.

seat she currently holds.
   During a lecture in 2002, Judge
                                                              Time to Step Down

Sotomayor said, “My family
                                        It’s been nine years since the day Ms. Joanne Smitherman was

showed me by their example how
                                      voted in as Bronx South Council of Presidents District Chair.

wonderful and vibrant life is and
                                      Nine years of being the voice of residents and advocating for her

how wonderful it is to have a
                                      neighborhoods and now its time “to step back and give someone

Latina soul. They taught me to
                                      else a chance” said Ms. Smitherman. “That’s why I decided not to

love America, to value its lesson
                                      run for District Chair again. It’s only fair. The new Bronx South

that great things could be
                                      COP District Chair is Mr. John Johnson and he is a very capable

achieved if one works for them.”
                                      person. He was my Vice-Chair for several years so I know firsthand

   President Obama said he
                                      that he will do a good job.” Ms. Smitherman is now 76 years young

was looking for “a qualified
                                      and has a few health concerns that must take priority. Yet, she is still

nominee with legal and real world
                                      the President of Police Service Area #7 Community Board and will

experience, as well as an appreci-
                                      actively participate in their National Night Out Against Crime.

ation for the impact of court
                                      While she might not hold the demanding job of Bronx South

decisions on everyday life.” The
                                      COP Chair she will hold the position of Vice- Chair, “I will still be

U.S. Senate now has to hold
                                      there to see that NYCHA does what it’s suppose to do in terms of

confirmation hearings and decide
                                      communicating with its residents.”

whether Sonia Sotomayor's court
experience and humble back-
                                        On behalf of NYCHA, I would like to thank you for all your

grounds make her the best choice
                                      service and dedication to your community. It’s people like you who

for U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
                                      make NYCHA a better and more enjoyable place to live. Thanks!

                                           UTILIZE THE CITY’S COOLING
                                             CENTERS DURING HEAT
Contact Center
The CCC has changed
                                       If you begin to feel sick or disoriented during
its name. The Centralized Call
                                       a Heat Emergency, there are “COOLING
Center is now the Customer
                                       CENTERS” throughout the city that you can use
Contact Center. The tele-              to get relief. Some are even located in
phone number remains the               NYCHA developments.
same. Call (718) 707-7771
to schedule maintenance
appointments between the
                                       Call 311 during the next Heat Emergency
hours of 4AM and midnight,             to find the location of a Cooling Center
and 24/7 for maintenance               near you.
6   JULY 2009
                   JULY 2009    7
8   JULY 2009
                                                                                                        THE HOUSING AUTHORITY JOURNAL
                                                                                                                                 JULY 2009      9

                   NYCHA Celebrates 75
                   Years of Public Housing
Mill Brook Houses 50th Anniversary
The New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA’s) Mill Brook Houses, located in the
Mott Haven section of the Bronx, celebrated its 50th Anniversary on May 26, 2009.
Mill Brook Houses consists of 1,252 apartments in nine, 16-story buildings on 12
acres between East 135th and 137th Streets, and Brook and Cypress Avenues. It is
home to 2,965 residents.

Mill Brook Houses takes its name from the Mill Brook which was once an important
waterway, running through the Morrisania Estate, from East 170th Street to the East
River, roughly along the course of what is today Brook Avenue.The Morrisania Estate
was originally owned by the Morris family, beginning in 1670. In 1840 Gouverneur
Morris, Jr., son of the famous Gouverner Morris (January 31, 1752 – November 6,
1816), allowed a railroad to be built across the property. The estate was purchased by
the neighborhood’s namesake, Jordan Mott, for his iron works in 1849.

Mill Brook Houses has a strong resident association whose members have traveled to
both Albany and Washington to advocate for increased government subsidy for public
                                                                                                        Mill Brook Houses in 1959.

housing. Mill Brook has traditionally hosted Father’s Day Basketball Tournaments,
with teams from nearby NYCHA developments competing. A successful resident-
initiated “College Bound” program has introduced high school youth to various
colleges. A proclamation issued by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was presented to
NYCHA residents and staff at the development to commemorate the occasion of the
development’s anniversary.

The historical photos and captions are from the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives.

                                                                                                        Old law tenement building at 631 East
                                                                                                        135th Street in the South Bronx,
                                                                                                        February 24, 1953, part of the 12 acre
                                                                                                        site for Mill Brook Houses.

                                                                                                        Mill Brook residents indoctrination, July
NYCHA staff and residents gathered at Mill Brook Houses to commemorate the development’s                1959. Residents apparently learning
anniversary. From left, front row, are NYCHA Vice-Chair Earl Andrews, Jr., Melvina R. Smith, Resident   the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of living in a
Association President P. Jamerson, Bronx South District Council of Presidents Chair John Johnson,       NYCHA development.
Manager Allison Williams, Sylvia Arroyo, and Carem Cintron (holding sign). Also shown here (not in
order) are: Ada Robinson, Shirley M. Greene, Lottie Chaney, Joyce Coleman, Clevester Hemphill,
Assistant Superintendent Anthony Henry, Salli Harrison, Ivan Vargas, Ana Velasquez, Bronx Borough
Director Michael Cornelius, Supervisor of Caretakers Nathaniel Calhoun, Borough Administrator Trevor
Baptiste, Superintendent Linden Sinclair, and Bronx Borough Deputy Director Peter Edwards.
                                                                           Douglass Houses Seniors’ Tile Art On
10      JULY 2009

                                                                           Permanent Display in India and China
                                                (Continued from page 1)
  At Polo Grounds in Harlem,          Markham Gardens, a mixed-
the Chair met with Council            income       community     being
Member Inez Dickens following         developed by a private manage-              By Eileen Elliott
a visit to the development’s state-   ment team on the site of a
of-the-art ATTAIN computer            former housing development. At       THE NEXT TIME YOU’RE IN
lab. The children there were          Markham he visited with the first    AHMEDABAD, INDIA, STOP BY THE
obviously excited about meeting       returning former Markham resi-       KANORIA CENTRE FOR THE ARTS
NYCHA’s 21st Chair who clearly        dent Milagros Arroyo, who was        AT THE UNIVERSITY THERE TO
enjoyed helping one young             ecstatic to be “back at home.”       SEE WHAT THE SENIORS FROM
boy with his computer-based             When asked about Day One,          THE   NEW YORK CITY HOUSING
math exercise.                        Rhea said, “This was a great start   AUTHORITY’S (NYCHA’S) DOUGLASS
  The Chair ended his day             but I’m ready for tomorrow.” To      HOUSES’ SENIOR CENTER IN
in West Brighton, Staten Island,      find out more about NYCHA’s          UPPER MANHATTAN HAVE BEEN
where he strolled through             new Chair, read the Chair’s          DOING. Twenty-two ceramic tiles
new housing construction at           Message in this paper on page 3.     created by 21 NYCHA seniors
                                                                           have crossed the oceans and are
                                                                           now on permanent exhibit,
                                                                                                                 FIRED UP (left to right) Douglass seniors Barbara “Babs”
                                                                           affixed to a courtyard wall at the
                                                                                                                 White, Mary Givens, Doris Walton, Artist-Consultant Jennifer
                                                                           Kanoria Centre — along with
                                                                                                                 Wade, Gretchen Marshall, Delores Bedford, and Aurelina
                                                                           tiles created by artists from
                                                                                                                 Fernandez with tiles for a work-in-progress to be installed at the
                                                                           some 40 countries, as part of
                                                                                                                 New York Aquarium.
                                                                           The Tile Project: Destination,
                                                                           the World.                                “It was three weeks from the their work on an international site.
                                                                              Sponsored by the TransCul-          time we learned about the program I’m just amazed by it all,” said
                                                                           tural Exchange Program in              until the tiles were shipped by Ms. Wade.
                                                                           Boston, which is funded by the         overnight mail to China, first, then     “It’s beautiful,” said Aurelina
                                                                           United Nations Educational,            India. The seniors worked day and Fernandez, who is 76 years old, and
                                                                           Scientific and Cultural Organi-        night,” Mr. Cohen said. “Usually has been coming to the Center for
                                                                           zation, the Tile Project has one       they come in from 1:00 PM to seven or eight years. “It makes me
                                                                           goal: to unite the world through       4:00 PM, but some seniors started happy. You feel like you’re doing
                                                                           innovative art. Between 2004           coming in at 9:00 AM and we something and it’s pretty when

At the Polo Grounds ATTAIN Lab in Manhattan                                and 2008 over 100 artists each         kept the kiln fired up pretty late.” you’re finished.”
                                                                           created 22 tiles that are currently       Seniors first drew their designs      The seniors are currently

                                                                           being installed at 22 sites around     on the tiles, then painted them with working on tiles with a marine
                                                                           the globe. Not headed to India in      special glaze made to withstand the theme for the New York
                                                                           the near future? Then maybe you        1800 degree temperature of the Aquarium and there are hopes of
                                         (Continued from page 3)                                                  Center’s kiln, which is used by the tiling the Center’s exterior with a
assistance and has already met with all nine COP District
                                                                           can stop by the Ku Art Center in
                                                                                                                  ceramics group that meets there garden theme.
Chairs to explain the process and provide guidance. NYCHA
                                                                           Beijing, China where the seniors
                                                                                                                  twice weekly.                            Four elected officials have
will also provide appropriate guidance to residents in estab-
                                                                           also have tiles on display.
                                                                                                                     “We got the tiles to India with contributed funding for the senior
lishing Resident Associations for those developments which
                                                                              Douglass Senior Center Director
                                                                                                                  one hour to spare; bubble wrapped, arts program at Douglass: Senator
don’t have them.
                                                                           Floyd Cohen spoke enthusiasti-
                                                                                                                  hand-delivered and everything,” Bill Perkins, Assembly Member
   NYCHA encourages its Resident Associations and COP District
                                                                           cally about the exhibits, and the
                                                                                                                  Mr. Cohen continued.                  Daniel O’Donnell, City Council
Councils to take advantage of this valuable opportunity to
                                                                           effect participating in the program
                                                                                                                     The tiles were installed in Member Melissa Mark-Viverito
help public housing residents in your community enrich their
                                                                           has had on the Douglass seniors.
                                                                                                                  Beijing in August 2008 and in India and Manhattan Borough President
lives. Whether your Resident Association chooses to propose
                                                                           “The seniors are so happy,” he
                                                                                                                  in October 2008 but the photos Scott Stringer.
leadership development programs, education, job-training,
                                                                           said. “One of our best artists is
                                                                                                                  only recently became available on        The tiles can be viewed at
computer, or household safety programs, there is no time like
                                                                           legally blind; others are stroke
                                                                                                                  the Internet for the India site. by
the present to get the ball rolling. Speak with your Resident
                                                                           victims who are partially para-
                                                                                                                     “A lot of light; a lot of strength clicking on “Senior Center Project”
Association President today about how you might be able to
                                                                           lyzed, one has had polio since
                                                                                                                  was brought out in the seniors. It under “Education.” Better yet, as
implement programs in your development or to find out about
                                                                           childhood. They feel so impor-
                                                                                                                  was great to see their creative Ms. White said, “We really must go
programs already planned for your community.
                                                                           tant now that the tiles are posted
                                                                           on the Internet (see last para-        potential come through and to see and visit.”
                                                                           graph) and relatives who don’t
                                                                           live in this country can see them.
                                                                           It gives them such a feeling
                                                                           of accomplishment.”
                                                                              The seniors became involved
                                                                           when one of the artists Barbara
                                                                           “Babs” White, came to the
                                                                           Center with a piece of paper
                                                                           describing the Tile Project. Arts
                                                                           Coordinator Jennifer Wade, an
                                                                           art-therapist and consultant
                                                                           with NYCHA’s Harborview
                                                                           Visual Arts Program, got on the
                                                                           case, contacted the TransCul-
                                                                           tural Exchange in Boston and
                                                                           received the go-ahead for the
                                                                           NYCHA seniors to participate.
                                                                              Ms. White, who decorated one
                                                                           of her tiles with an image from
                                                                           her synchronized swimming
                                                                           team, commented that “the
                                                                           camaraderie that developed
                                                                           between the seniors trying to get
                                                                           everything done in time was
                                                                           really great.”
                   JULY 2009    11

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