Introduction

URGENT

Zoning Maps
New York City has introduced legislation that would apply zoning 'text amendments' on a building-by-building basis. If this legislation is passed it means that loft occupants of some buildings may not be afforded any protection.
Map of the proposed text amendments for Brooklyn
Page with link to Brooklyn Loft Legislation
Index of zoning maps for NYC
Map illustrating loft conversion zoning in LIC
Coalition members and concerned friends should download these letters of support for loft legislation and send them as soon as possible. There cannot be enough pleas for support sent these representatives.

There will be new letters posted here every Tuesday. Please check back weekly and mail in the new letters as they are posted.

This week's letters:
State Senator Maltese
State Senator Marchi
State Senator Padavan

State Senator Goodman
Speaker of the Assembly Silver
Governor Pataki
Lobbying efforts in Albany are continuing, and we can still use all the help you can give us. This is for all of our sakes, and you can't necessarily count on others taking care of you if they don't know to do so. E-mail [email protected] for more information if you are able to help in Albany. People from ALL OVER are needed for this! Please try to make some time to help out.

If you can't go to Albany, at least be sure to contact the Captains Commitee to ensure that your building is included under any protections passed by legislators.

more details...

The Loft Census should be filled out by everyone living in a Brooklyn live/work loft. The information provided by the census will be our best tool for proving the merits of our case in Albany.

Sign up for our mailing list by writing to members@ brooklynlivework.org

In response to the escalating rent crisis in New York City and the events of December 19, 2000, when 60 people and their children were evicted into a cold December night, the Brooklyn LiveWork Coalition has formed to protect the rights of live/work tenants in Brooklyn and beyond. We are an ever-expanding group of neighborhood and housing advocates. We are working artists, small business people, and arts-related entrepreneurs who have revitalized Brooklyn neighborhoods abandoned by industry and neglected by government. We provide new models of economic activity which demand live/work spaces and mixed-use neighborhoods.

Our goals for 2001 include:

  • enacting new legislation to protect and legalize live/work spaces in commercial buildings;

  • monitoring and guiding the actions of various New York City agencies (DOB, NYFD, NY City Planning) that impact our constituency;

  • advocating protection of our culturally diverse neighborhoods while creating affordable housing that stems the tide of gentrification in Brooklyn;

  • developing a strong relationship between our tenant constituency and existing neighborhood and tenant groups;

  • educating live/work tenants on building code issues so that buildings maintain basic safety standards.

Intrepid, pioneering tenants have carved out homes and workplaces all over Brooklyn, resulting in one of the most miraculous urban renewal models in New York City in recent history. Now thousands of people (10,000 in Brooklyn alone) living and working in commercial buildings are haunted by the fear of losing their homes. The lack of rent protections results in rents doubling at the end of leases, displacing tenants and forcing them to forfeit often years of labor and money invested to rehabilitate their buildings. It is common procedure for landlords to exploit the talents of live/work tenants to improve properties and then to evict once their buildings have increased in value. The lack of proper zoning and code compliance causes tenants to feel further threatened. Many people feel compelled to keep their live/work practice hidden and live in fear of City Officials, despite the fact that these same tenants are making buildings and streets safer, creating cultural Mecca's along the Brooklyn Water front, revitalizing small businesses and rejuvenating their neighborhoods. If New York City is to remain "the cultural capital of the world" and maintain a diverse culturally vibrant population, allowances need to be made to secure and stabilize our communities.

Announcements

GOTV Williamsburg!
One of the best things we can do for ourselves as members of the LiveWork community in Brooklyn is to register to vote. By registering to vote and by voting in local and state elections, we will gain the attention of city and state politicians as an empowered voting bloc. In most local elections only a few thousand votes are cast. The outcomes can be determined by only a few hundred votes! Show our politicians that we are a force to contend with!
Register to vote online and be ready to vote in September!

Volunteer!
Volunteers are needed for an array of tasks from printing and handing out flyers to design work to working on committees. If you have even one or two hours that you can spend helping out please volunteer.

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