Tuesday, August 9, 2022

 

From The Village Sun--here's what so damaging about Carlina Rivera's support of upzoning in her Lower East Side/East Village district--and beyond. Read the facts from Andrew Berman of Village Preservation. 

"...This YIMBY philosophy drove the Soho/Noho/Chinatown upzoning in late 2021, and was a big part of the justification for the plan espoused by its supporters, like Councilmember Carlina Rivera and then-Mayor Bill de Blasio....


And

One person who has been following the Soho/Noho rezoning, added this information: 

"Carlina Rivera sponsored the SoHo/NoHo/Chinatown up-zoning. As I’ve said, the first time any designated historic district zoning has been busted since the Landmark Preservation Commission has been created in the 60’s, I think. Thank you Jackie Kennedy.   Big real estate has been trying to bust one of these districts for decades  Carlina facilitated it." 


Meanwhile, over at The City, interesting news about donations to Rivera: 

De Blasio Scores Campaign Cash from Subjects of His Ethics Probes — While Rival Rivera Scoops Up Ex-Supporters

https://www.thecity.nyc/2022/7/18/23269316/bill-de-blasio-carlina-rivera-congress-fundraising

Backers for the former mayor were fined for forbidden donations. Others have abandoned him and are financing a rising rival’s campaign.

Jeff Coltin
@JCColtin
e.g. Donors to Carlina Rivera's campaign include developers like Jed Walentas, Bruce Teitelbaum, Dan Tishman, Donald Capoccia, Kirk Goodrich, and lobbyists like Ed Wallace, Constantinople and Vallone, Luis Miranda and Ruben Diaz Jr.

And over at The Daily News, a different pot of hot water: 

"NYC Councilwoman Carlina Rivera affirms opposition to anti-gay ‘exemption’ after comment causes stir

"Manhattan Councilwoman Carlina Rivera’s congressional campaign is clarifying that she vehemently opposes giving private businesses a pass on discriminating against LGBTQ people — after comments she recently made suggested she’s open to the idea.
"In an interview published Tuesday by Jewish outlet Hamodia, Rivera was asked if she’d 'support a religious exemption' for a scenario in which 'there’s a progressive social value you believe in,' such as a hypothetical Brooklyn venue with 'Biblical values' refusing to host a wedding for a same-sex couple.
“'I think that a religious exemption is certainly something that I would consider when it comes to certain pieces of legislation,' responded Rivera, who’s vying to represent the hotly-contested 10th Congressional District in next month’s primary. 'We’ve certainly done it in the Council, and I’d be willing to explore that and do it on the federal level.'"

A Rivera staffer clarified the statement later. 

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/new-york-elections-government/ny-election-2022-carlina-rivera-10th-congressional-district-exemption-comment-20220719-fa334cdiezetpfk7oom3xank3q-story.html


Thursday, July 28, 2022

This is what a bad plan looks like. This is the plan that  Carlina Rivera championed. 


Take a walk from the Corlears Hook Ferry Landing past a wasteland that used to be full of greenery and trees and people along the river. Walk over a rickety bridge and try to find the exit. We could have had berms along the FDR and retained the park--it reopened less than two days after Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and 1,000 trees survived. The park is in City Council Member Rivera's district. She could have insisted on changes in the plan before supporting it. Member deference, the unwritten rule of the City Council gave her the power to demand a truly resilient plan to protect the neighborhood. She brought us instead an environmental disaster. 
And talk about bad planning, Wendy points out the lawn that was planted in November that is supposed to make up for losing so much of East River Park. But to construct the bridge, the contractor tore out and closed off half of the pitiful field. They didn't know they were going to build a temporary bridge? 

Poor planning also impacts cyclists who used to commute without emissions for 2.4 miles along the river.  It is more dangerous and hotter to bike through the neighborhood. Rivera, who always touts her bike accomplishments, did not get the community a safe substitute.

She did not keep the popular and large composting yard here either. Composting is a true method of helping climate resiliency. Yet Rivera allowed it to be tossed out. Want to compost in our neighborhood? The formerly 24/7 dropoff has been replaced by Thursday AM drop location, and the compost is trucked out to Brooklyn, meaning the diesel fuel used probably obliterates the environmental advantage. 

Rivera has not demanded oversight of this massive project in her district. Don't vote for her. 


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

The Tech Hub Controversy

Carlina Rivera, Friend of Developers

When Carlina Rivera campaigned to be elected to the New York City Council (the first time) in 2017, she promised that she would negotiate for South of Union Square to receive historic landmark status to limit gentrification before voting for the controversial Tech Hub in Union Square in her district. That didn’t happen, Councilmember Carlina Rivera voted for the Tech Hub and did not keep her campaign promise to her constituents. (The deBlasio administration proposed for a “Tech Hub” aka high tech office space to be built on City-owned land, which Councilmember Rivera voted for. A lost opportunity for affordable housing....) 


Here's a link to EV Grieve her support despite vocal opposition and reneging on a campaign promise for zoning south of 14th St:

https://evgrieve.com/2018/08/the-conversation-continues-on-now.html


As reported by EV Grieve: "In voting yes on the project, Rivera said the tech hub would bring 'true community benefits, tech education, and workforce development services that will finally give women, people of color, and low-income New Yorkers access to an industry that has unfairly kept them out for far too long.’"


Look for the tech education and workforce development services. Has anyone seen any of that? These non-profits were already providing services elsewhere, they did not need a floor in a new office building. Councilmember Rivera's predecessor, Rosie Mendez, lamented at a Community Board meeting that she wished that the Union Square Tech Hub was going to affordable housing. 


Yet there is the shiny new building that was allowed to exceed "as-of-right zoning." What did Rivera get for her district? The building, now completed, is called "Zero Irving" and advertises itself as "a new, trophy-class office building."


Meanwhile, the neighborhood remains unprotected from development which leads to displacement and further gentrification. 

Upzoning Everywhere

In fact, Rivera has supported every citywide rezoning and other out-of-scale development, no matter how much the communities object or how much it will lead to gentrification and displacement. Developers can build ugly high rises for the rich with a few somewhat affordable units. Check out the behemoth One Manhattan Square at 80 stories on the edge of Chinatown. Rivera supported that building and now supports the addition of three more supertalls in that area. And she supports the new high rise jail that will further erode Chinatown’s already imperiled existence as a marvelously diverse, interesting, but fragile neighborhood. 


Now in Councilmember Rivera's NY10 Congressional campaign, she takes large donations from big developers.* 


*Here is a spreadsheet showing donations to Rivera’s campaign with contributions from developers including Ben Thypin, Dan Tishman, Two Trees development, and many associated with Conduit Real Estate and others. 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Tdmv0PAnL9mUjcZuNMRvuE4cmd1IzuMvdht1aiQCHwY/edit#gid=1225353429


 Do you want restaurant sheds permanently? 

Carlina Rivera does. 

In the City Council, Rivera sponsored legislation to make Open Restaurants permanent without an Environmental Impact Study.  

Interestingly, in her campaign video featuring the East Village where she grew up, there are no restaurant sheds to be seen, points out a Twitter user @EDI_NYC.

Here's a story on various neighborhoods that have objections to the sheds becoming permanent. The East Village community meeting in the story with people vigorously protesting the sheds is in Rivera's district.  

Brian Lehrer interviewed CM Rivera in January 2022. A caller and resident of CD2 called in and complained about the restaurant sheds and ESCR. CM Rivera blew the caller off. And noted that rats are apart of NYC. But we in Lower Manhattan know that is not true. Rats have increased due to Open Restaurants.

Here's a link to a slide show with the cruddy-looking sheds in Carlina Rivera's City Council District: 






Sunday, July 24, 2022

 It was indefensible to support a plan that would fell a thousand trees. 

Destroying East River Park to build a giant levee was a bad plan, now being badly executed.  Carlina River brags about it. 

Yet Carlina Rivera enthusiastically pushed through the East Side Coastal "Resiliency" project that would raze the entire 57-acre park. She promoted no viable alternative flood protection that would save most of the greenery so desperately needed on the Lower East Side. Now in her campaign for Congress, she brags about this mega-destruction as a big infrastructure project she brought to her district. 


One reader wrote emphasizing that Carlina Rivera and the City showed "ignorance about the importance of trees and also the number to be cut down which I think is actually 1024 according to the Letitia James comments" (in the Environmental Impact Statement).

"For me," the reader--a resident of the Lower East Side--wrote, "Killing that many trees and eradicating the urban forest downtown is among the most shocking things related to the park demolition." 

Another Lower East Side resident says, "Carlina talks about environmental justice and injustice, but here she took a POC district, which actually had green space and turned it into another typical example of environmental injustice. She flipped it on its head. AAGH!!!"

For more about the destruction of East River Park and the East Side Coastal Resiliency project, visit East River Park Action


Saturday, July 23, 2022


Disenchantment

Answering a question about youth disenchantment at a panel for Congressional Dist. 10 candidates, Carlina Rivera said that the young are “the reason for every important civil rights movement in this country,” including voting rights and climate change," [We won't quibble that the elderly, disabled, immigrants, LGBTQ, and others of all ages might also have reasons to push for civil rights...] "and their participation is essential to make change." 

Gotham Gazette reported, "Rivera added that rebuilding East River Park through the coastal resiliency project will fortify the area for future generations."

That is untrue. The levee she pushed through to have built will ensure that an entire generation in her district will not have a wide open space to play, nor the trees and greenery that cleanse and cool the air. By the time a new park is built on top of the levee and the trees have a chance to grow and provide shade, it'll be time to raise the levee again because this badly conceived project did not really account for climate change estimates. She had a chance to gain a truly resilient park that would have absorbed floodwaters, with walls and berms along the FDR. As sea levels rise, parkland can become natural marshes as they once were here. Covering the FDR Drive with parkland could be a place for playing fields and more acreage. 

Rivera went on: "'You see this right-wing agenda, doing things like weakening the EPA and dismantling fundamental rights, it is easy to be sort-of disengaged and mistrust government,' Rivera said. 'I think what builds trust back in government is when you have people who are actually delivering for their districts and engaging them in the conversation.' " 

That's exactly what Carlina Rivera didn't do. She delivered an environmental disaster to her district with the East Side Coastal Resiliency project, and listened not at all to thousands of phone calls, emails, hand-signed petitions, and learned testimony. She was dismissive of all arguments. Her staff argued with callers instead of respecting their points of view. 

Later, "Rivera said she understands the community’s fears about the eroding infrastructure and would provide leadership at the federal level to receive the sufficient amount of funding to support a plan led by the community. She said she is encouraged by several ideas to reimagine the BQE, including covering the highway under parkland and building a cross-harbor rail freight tunnel."

Carlina Rivera, you're killing me. "Covering the highway under parkland"? That's what we've been begging you for, and you acted like you never heard of such a thing. 

For the full Gotham Gazette article with statements from all the candidates, use this link: 






Friday, July 22, 2022

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Todd Fine is tracking Carlina Rivera's campaign contributions. Oooh, real estate moguls really likes her! https://mobile.twitter.com/tfine/status/1548973925509386241 Tishman, Two Trees, Thypin--the developers send her big contributions. You can see that and more on the spreadsheet Fine links to: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Tdmv0PAnL9mUjcZuNMRvuE4cmd1IzuMvdht1aiQCHwY/edit#gid=1225353429

 

 Congressional District 10 candidate and seasoned progressive Elizabeth Holtzman at a candidates' forum on environmental issues, talking about East Side Coastal Resiliency and the destruction of East River Park: 

 Here's a good summary of the problem with zoning. Carlina Rivera is on the wrong side. She votes for every "upzoning" that leads to development, displacement, gentrification, worsening of quality of life for long-time low and middle income residents: