Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Jerry Meets Bill

This past Sunday, Jerry Delakas and his friend Kelly, co-administrator of the Facebook page Save Jerry's Newsstand, went to the Gracie Mansion open house to meet Mayor Bill de Blasio. If you've been following Jerry's saga, you know that the city padlocked his Astor Place newsstand in December and is kicking him out after 26 years, due to a technicality on his license.

photo from Save Jerry's Newsstand

Outside Gracie, Jerry and Kelly waited in the cold, carrying a homemade miniature Jerry's Newsstand as a housewarming gift to the mayor.

Wrapped in a bright red bow, the mini stand was made from found and donated cardboard, spray-painted Cemusa silver, and filled with New York newspapers--the Times, the Post--along with a Greek paper from Jerry's homeland, and an assortment of delicious candies. There was also a mini Jerry in his signature Greek fisherman's cap. But how did they get such an item past Gracie Mansion security?

photo from Save Jerry's Newsstand

Kelly told me: "We had some resistance bringing it in the house. They were under pressure to move 5,000 to meet the mayor smoothly. When we got to the gates with it, the security laughed. We put it through the metal detectors and the guards said, 'Jerry's newsstand is here!' Laughing. Going up the front steps, the security aide to the mayor asked what it was and laughed as well. When we got to the small room [for the photo op], I think the woman who is Bill's Chief of Staff took it from me and passed it to the back of the room. She said they were putting all the gifts together. I said 'No. We want to present it to the mayor. In the picture.' I turned to ask the mayor. The woman was giving me the frown. But he said something like 'Sure, pass it up.'"

Kelly and Jerry told the mayor about how the city seized and locked the real newsstand. De Blasio said he was aware of the situation, and that it is "a great injustice." He then instructed his aide to "get on it immediately." Jerry and Kelly talked to the aide and gave all the specifics.

I asked Jerry about his experience. He told me he enjoyed his trip to Gracie Mansion and found the mayor to be a very nice guy. "The visit with the mayor," he said, "was the greatest gift of all times to begin the new year." He wishes Bill de Blasio a Happy New Year and hopes he will help him to keep the newsstand and maintain his living.

If you'd like to help Jerry, there are a few ways to lend your support.

Tomorrow, join the 9:00 a.m. "We Got Your Back" rally on the courthouse steps at 60 Centre Street. You can also donate money to SaveJerry@Outlook.com via PayPal or the drop box at the NY Copy Center on 7th Street. And call the Public Advocate's office at 212-669-7250 to tell them: Don't leave Jerry Delakas out in the cold!

See Also:
Jerry Out in the Cold
Jerry's Newsstand

History of the New York Newsstand
More Newsstand Deaths
Newsstand Slaughter
Hojo's Lost Newsstand
Another Newsstand
Union Square Newsstand


Anonymous said...

Great article!

Laura Goggin Photography said...

This makes my day. It would do the mayor well to start off his term with something so positive.

Michael Simmons said...

Thanks for staying on this story, Jeremiah. You're more than a blogger, journalist and advocate -- you're an activist.

Anonymous said...

Felt I was there. Thanks.

JAZ said...

I really hope DeBlasio cuts through this beurocratic bullshit Jerry is dealing with and lets him get back in his newsstand. I don't see any reason why he wouldn't and it would be a great message sent to show that it's a new mindset in the office.

Unfortunately, I've become cynical enough when it comes to any politician to know their promises mean nothing, so I'll believe it when I see it.

laura r. said...

we need to "see" him deliever the goods. we are all waiting.