Monday, March 9, 2015

#SaveNYC in the Daily News

From my op-ed in today's Daily News:

Small businesses in New York City have no rights. You’ve been here 50 years and provide an important service? Tough luck — your space now belongs to Dunkin’ Donuts. You own a beloved, fourth-generation, century-old business? Get out — your landlord’s putting in a combination Chuck E. Cheese and Juicy Couture.

And despite de Blasio’s rhetorical fears about gentrification, his progressive pro-development push may well only hasten the trend.

That’s why I started the #SaveNYC campaign. We’re collecting video testimonials from New Yorkers and out-of-towners, celebrities and small business owners, asking City Hall to preserve the cultural fabric of the greatest city on earth...

Read the whole article here.


John K said...

Excellent editorial, Jeremiah. Your call to pass the Small Business Protection Act is a great first step, and in the comments section someone else mentions pushing to remove the 421-a tax abatement that is a giveaway to billionaires and not even needed, since real estate developers and the super rich do not need a single other freebie at this point. Under the current tax policies in place at the federal, state and local levels they are getting so rich it's not even funny. The Eliot reference and Updike quote are nice touches, too.

Space Pope said...

I love reading that dusty old chestnut of "But he made the city safer" in the comments section of your piece. No, Giuliani didn't actually have much to do with that except keeping going what was already happening and riding the coat-tails of the work done by mayors before him, as well as being more than willing to take ill-placed credit for all these things.
You know where else is considered low-crime? Death valley. Sure, unprepared fools go and risk their life there, but then it's not called Death Valley for nothing. The only crime that happens is an odd assault by tumbleweed.

Just goes to show that people are indeed willing to sacrifice everything that makes something unique in order to feel a mote safer.

laura r. said...

jeremiah, you have my support 100 % the artical was right on. so many times i ask the same question: who will repair my shoes? do my laundry? the end of the artical asks what will new york be like? my answer is guadalajara. (people have to travel many miles to find a shoe repair, but there is a dunkin/mcdonalds/kentucyfried/7-11 on every street in a 300 sq mile city). many major cities were destroyed way before NY. you cant blame bloomburg. these corps are globally owned. deblasio could care less. hes in bed w/the developers, hes a small fish.

Michael Simmons said...

Killer piece Jeremiah -- one that proposes a partial solution to this crisis and contains a spot-on Updike quote!

Anonymous said...

As a 20yr resident of NYC and owner of a small business who can barely afford rent, I like the sentiment of the proposal, but not the reality: like just about every other regulation unique to NYC intended to help people, it will immediately be purloined by those in power and be just another layer of graft one has to wade thru in order to do business.

The closest example I can think of is the official "artist" moniker given out by the Dept of Cultural Affairs, which generally serves a) to give bureaucrats jobs; b) allow individuals who can game the system and wade thru the paperwork to become "artists" to afford and lock-down lofts that the quality of their work doesn't warrant c) allow said artists to rent out said lofts off-the-books for huge rents to national retail chains while they live upstate for 11.5months of the years and the city turns a blind eye to the enterprise (everyone knows its going on, but no one has ever been penalized).

In short, its bound to become yet another scheme for those few connected to the political power structure at the cost of the dwindling middle class.

Am not sure what the answer is, but suspect it resides in less regulation to the degree that its been the past decade of regulation, combined with intense government intervention (via subsidies, infrastructure improvements, and land use incentives including lot mergers to facilitate big-box stores) that has provided the environment for hyper-gentrification.

The answer may also be taking the dying germs of NYC and populating other cities, before those germs are extinguished entirely. Its hard not to feel like that proverbial frog in boiling water when walking around, say, Chelsea or Hudson Yards, and realizing the whole place will soon be sterile glass towers. At a certain point, I tell myself with sadness, you just gotta know when to jump out.

Mitch said...

Glad to see you are getting such a positive response. Keep up the good work!

JQ said...

The laws that were written that caused this plague of overdevelopment seem to be set it stone. I don't think it can ever be saved, but no should stop writing about it.

From the last minute act of Mayor Fun Size when he signed an ordinance allowing higher building which led to billionaires row on 57th st.. From the gross estimates property owners are leveling on long standing shops that has had the effect of smallpox on the number of closings.
From the marketing passing as journalism from the local tv news and print media.
From the grand declarations by Mayor Big Slow feigning concern for the desperate working poor and modest income though struggling middle class families as he maintains duplicitous ties with the property pimps and listens to the warped concepts of sociopathic city planners.
From the corrupt opportunistic couriers of lying immigrants trying to become citizens because of Obama's amnesty quick fix.
From the billionaire phantom tenants and obscenely overrated actors and singers taking advantage of 421a and avoiding paying their fair share of taxes with the pied-a-tieres.
From the collective of hollow brats of generation gentrification:offspring of the obscenely wealthy,faux bohemians,artisinal food fetish deviants,purveyors of terrible art,music film.Or as they are commonly known as the target free market demographic-hipsters.

These are a lot of hurdles to jump,symbolically as high as that swiss bank account posing as a residential building one57. Although Jerry's idea is great and I hope to contribute, it's not going to have much of an effect unless he gets real star power to match the representative of the now new york brand-that lipsticked spchinter faced douchehag Ms. Swift. The alternative might be plain old fashioned anarchy. Which I'm certain that is what the miliarization of the NYPD is for as demonstrated against OCCUPY(where the fuck are they on this issue?, or have some of them already sold out?).

With all these manifestations resulting from this pestilence,cynical and pessimistic thoughts are overwhelming and all you can do is quit.

As long as I am unfortunately here, and as long as there are people chronicling this horrible phase this city is going through,like Queens Crap and this site,I won't.

We are NYC
Live Long And Prosper

DrBOP said...

Just a small note of right now your editorial is THE NUMBER ONE most read article in the paper.
Way to get people talking and more aware of the state of affairs.
Keep on chooglin'!

Walter said...

The only thing that bothered me, Jeremiah, was the fact that The NY Daily News endorsed Michael Bloomberg 3 times. And he, more than anybody, is responsible for the city's cultural and demographic demise. He was the one who sold us out to his developer cronies. I despised that man, before he ever got elected. His mantra was: well, if you can't afford to live here, move to Far Rockaway or Staten Island. This man is one of the worst elitists to ever govern this city. He's an autocrat of the worst kind. As always, just my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

I think the other big issue is these alleged chamber of commerce who do nothing to advocate for the local businesses. Does anyone know what exactly the Manhattan Chamber, New York Chamber, Harlem Chamber does?