Author Archives: Daniel Weinberg

Save Our Storefronts (S.O.S.) Update and Info Session, Wednesday, August 19th, 11 AM

Join us to hear updates about the SOS emergency legislation – NYS Bill S-8865 / A10901– and how you can get involved in the campaign for commercial rent relief.

Introduced by NYS Senator Brad Hoylman to the NYS Senate and Assembly Member Harvey Epstein in the NYS Assembly, the bill calls on commercial tenants, landlords and the state to share the burden of the rent crisis. 

The shared-burden model envisions an equation in which negatively-impacted commercial tenants can obtain a proportional amount of rent forgiveness from landlords, and landlords can then obtain a proportional amount of reimbursement from the state. The relief is effective retroactively from March 7th through 180 days past the lifting of the NYS on PAUSE orders. Read more about the proposal. We strongly feel that this shared-burden model is the most fair and practical way to ensure that we get through this crisis intact, together. 

At next Wednesday’s info session, we will:

> Provide a platform to hear many concerns and questions from small business owners and supporters. 
> Provide tools to help you contact your state representatives and move this emergency legislation forward.
> Share information on how you can best spread the word around the state, thus building momentum to ensure a swift passage
> Announce our plan for a rally and press conference to be held in compliance with distancing and mask mandates.  

Working together, we will find a way to create urgency around this matter and insist that our representatives act decisively. Your story matters to us. The set-backs you are facing are impacting us all. Please join us and add your voice to the fight for rent relief. 

Join us on Wednesday August 19 to find out what you can do to help save the city you love.

**Keep spreading the word on social media**

***Forward and share the #SOS campaign widely***

Call out #SOS until NYS takes action on commercial rent relief!!

SEATS STILL AVAILABLE! — Registration Required

“Structural racism.” It’s a somewhat stuffy and bloodless term. But it nevertheless has real meaning, and real consequences. With structural racism, racist ideas and actions get so deeply embedded in the day-to-day workings of every institution in society – health care, employment, education – that it’s made to look normal. With a perspective of tenant organizing, join us for an interactive online workshop to learn about racism in housing, past and present, and what we can do about it moving forward.

Featuring presentations and discussion led by former CSC housing organizer SaMi Chester, CSC housing organizing apprentice Debbie Scott-Gonzalez, CSC lead housing organizer Yonatan Tadele, and more.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the online meeting.

“Save Our Storefronts, Save Our State” (Press Conference, 7/29/2020)

This press conference was held on Zoom on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. Watch above or by clicking this link.

Visit & tell your NYS reps to support the Epstein/Hoylman commercial rent relief bill #SaveOurStorefronts

For Immediate Release
Contact: Abigail Ellman / / ‪(347) 830-7014‬

“Save Our Storefronts, Save Our State”

NYC Small Businesses Call Out “SOS” as Pandemic Rent Crisis Threatens To Sink Many

State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly Member Harvey Epstein Join Businesses in Calling for Legislation to Share the Burden

When: Wednesday, July 29, 2020, 9 to 9:45 AM
Where: via Zoom, view the recording above

Read More

HDFC Community Solar Online Workshop: Thursday, 6/25/2020

This workshop was given by Cooper Square Committee and Solar One on Thursday, June 25, 2020, via Zoom. Watch above or by clicking this link.

Learn about Community Shared Solar, save on future electric bills, and help fight climate change. Switching to solar energy is the easiest way to lower our carbon emissions, almost anyone can sign up, no upfront costs, and you’re guaranteed to save money.

Watch our 6/17 workshop on Life Planning Documents:

This workshop was given on Zoom and Youtube on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. Watch above or by clicking this link. Download the Powerpoint here.
Este taller se dio por Zoom y por Youtube el miércoles, 17 de junio de 2020. Assístelo arriba o por hacer clic en este vínculo. Baje una traducción a español de la presentación Powerpoint aquí.

Read More

Rest in Power, Frances Goldin

Dear Cooper Square Committee Community,

Today we are remembering our fierce and inspiring co-founder, Frances Goldin.

On Saturday May 16th after a long gradual decline in health, Fran died in her home on East 11th Street, where she had lived for nearly 50 years. She was 95 years old.

Frances Goldin was an inspirational force for fair and affordable housing throughout New York City, but especially on the Lower East Side, for more than half a century. She was also a figure in the literary world, combining her political conviction with literary discernment and expertise. Fran was proudly radical, dedicating her long life to fighting against injustice and struggling to build a more equitable society. When she saw a wrong that needed to be addressed, she confronted it head-on, with boundless energy and with a combination of leftist conviction and the palpable warmth of human kindness and compassion. 

Read More

What to know about evictions and paying rent

Our offices may be closed to the public during the COVID-19 crisis, but we’ve been hard at work (remotely) fielding many questions about paying rent and the evictions moratorium. Here’s what you need to know.
There is a statewide evictions moratorium for all residential and commercial tenants. The eviction moratorium means you cannot be evicted.
Rent has not been suspended. We know that unless tenants take collective action to #CancelRent now, Housing Court will simply reopen at the end of the moratorium with a surge of evictions.
Tenants are taking action and you can, too. Members of your community are signing the petition to #CancelRentwriting to elected officials, calling Governor Cuomo at 518-474-8390, and sharing their COVID-19 rent stories.
Free legal advice is available. Our legal non-profit partners have released a detailed FAQ for residential tenants and a similar FAQ for commercial tenants.
Rent strikes are a powerful tactic. Check out this toolkit to learn more about the history of rent strikes and help organize with your neighbors. If you are interested in organizing a rent strike or other building-wide action, call (212) 228-8210 or email to speak with a housing organizer about the issues you and your building are facing. 
Sign the Rent Suspension Petition

CSC offices closed during coronavirus epidemic

During the coronavirus epidemic, Cooper Square Committee’s staff continues to do our work helping tenants, small business owners, seniors and low income residents get the services they need. Starting Monday, March 16, 2020, our office is closed but our staff is working remotely and is prepared to assist you by phone or email. All tenant meetings are by conference call only. If you’re facing a housing emergency, please call 311. If you have a housing question which is not an emergency, leave a message at (212) 228-8210, or email We will respond to your message as soon as we can.
For urgent senior issues call our NORC emergency line at 929-855-0958. 

For up-to-date information about the coronavirus epidemic, call 311 or visit

We are not going away, and we hope to resume a normal office schedule as soon as public health officials advise that it is safe to do so. For up-to-date information about the coronavirus epidemic, call 311 or visit

Stay connected to your friends by phone and online. Let’s all take care of one another.

~ Steve Herrick, Executive Director

WE’RE HIRING! Part-time Census “Pop-Up” Worker – bilingual required (English/Spanish or English/Cantonese)

JOB DESCRIPTION: Census “Pop-Up” Worker
(10 hours per week, March 12th to May 15th, 2020)

About the Cooper Square Committee

The Cooper Square Committee is a housing and community development organization based in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Formed in 1959, we work with area residents to preserve and develop affordable, environmentally housing and community/cultural spaces in order to maintain the racial, economic, and cultural diversity of the Lower East Side.

About the Census Complete Count Fund

The United States Constitution requires a population count—or census—every 10 years. The census determines every state’s proportional representation in Congress as well as its share of federal funds for health care, education, housing, economic development, social services, roads, transportation, and more. In light of the resources that are at risk and the fact that the State of New York could lose up to two congressional seats in the case of a 2020 census undercount, it is critically important that all New Yorkers, especially those from historically undercounted communities, are counted.

To support a fair and complete count, Cooper Square Committee is working in partnership with the City University of New York (CUNY), Mayor de Blasio’s NYC Census 2020 office, and the New York City Council to mobilize New Yorkers to self-respond to the 2020 census. Cooper Square Committee will be engaging our community members through a range of strategies, including hosting several “pop-up” events at buildings and our storefront offices at 61 E. 4th Street.

About the Census “Pop-Up” Worker position

Cooper Square Committee is seeking exceptionally qualified candidates for the role of Census “Pop-Up” Worker. The Census “Pop-Up” Worker will staff the Census pop-up at our office from Monday to Thursday, 5 pm to 7:30 pm (10 hours per week), educate community members about the significance of the census and the importance of census self-response; identify and dismantle barriers to census participation, ask and encourage New Yorkers to self-respond to the 2020 census, and connect them right then and there to the tools and resources they need to self-respond.


Working under the leadership of the Census Manager, the Census “Pop-Up” Worker will:

  • Build strong relationships with historically undercounted New Yorkers in order to encourage census self-response;
  • Engage Lower East Side residents about the census through a variety of activities at the pop-up, which may include phone-banking, text-banking, and other engagement events;
  • Track census engagement activities using both qualitative and quantitative methods;
  • Adhere to all data security and privacy protocols around census engagement;
  • Participate in trainings and professional development opportunities;
  • Help with other Census outreach and engagement tasks as needed.


  • Experience in community engagement, campaign work, or other forms of direct outreach;
  • Excellent communication and multi-tasking skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship management skills;
  • Demonstrated cultural competence with respect to historically undercounted communities;
  • Understanding of New York City’s diversity and experience working with people of diverse backgrounds;
  • Proficiency in use of technology such as laptop computers and tablets;
  • Required: Proficiency in written and spoken Spanish and/or Cantonese.

Pay is commensurate with experience. To apply, send your resume to Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the positions are filled.

CSC closed for holidays, re-opens on Monday 1/6/2020

The Cooper Square Committee office will close at 1pm on Fri., Dec. 20, 2019. We will reopen at 10am on Mon., Jan. 6, 2020.

If you are a senior and you need help with an urgent issue, please call our NORC program at 929-855-0958 any day during business hours.

For other housing matters, call University Settlement at 212-505-1995 or go to 189 Allen Street, and if you have a life-threatening emergency, call 911. 

Met Council’s Tuesday night housing clinic will NOT meet on
Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019 or on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019. They resume on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2019 at 6:30pm.

We wish you a happy holiday.
From the Staff and Board of the Cooper Square Committee

La oficina cerrará a la 1pm el viernes, 20 de diciembre y se quedará cerrada hasta que abrimos a las 10am, el lunes, 6 de enero de 2020.

Si usted es una persona de tercera edad y necesita ayuda con un problema urgente, por favor llame a nuestro programa para personas mayores NORC al 929-855-0958 durante el horario comercial.

Para otros asuntos de vivienda, llame a University Settlement
al 212-505-1995 o visite a 189 Allen St, y si tiene una emergencia potencialmente mortal, llame al 911.   

¡Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo!
~ Los empleados y la junta del Comité Cooper Square

SOLD OUT! — our 60th Anniversary Gala tomorrow night

Gala is sold out!

If you have purchased a ticket to our 60th Anniversary Gala for tomorrow night (Wed. Sep. 18th, 175 Delancey Street, 6pm-9pm), we look forward to seeing you.  If you have not purchased a ticket, we’re sorry but the event is sold out.  We are sorry, but the venue cannot accommodate more than 200 people. We cannot accept anyone that did not RSVP via email in advance and pay for their ticket. If you’re unable to attend, we welcome donations on our website at We thank all of our sponsors, advertisers and ticket buyers who have helped make this a successful fundraising event.    Yours truly,  Steve Herrick
Executive DirectorCooper Square Committee

336 W. 17th Street Tenants Launch Rent Strike

Click for PDF of press release with full size photos

We Will Not Stand for Construction as Harassment or Lead Contamination in Our Homes!

Tenants Unveil Massive “RENT STRIKE” Banner, Demand Justice for Months Spent Living Under Intense Construction & End to Unresponsive Management

New York, NY — Tenants from 336 W. 17th Street held a rally and press conference on the morning of July 23rd, 2019, and unfurled a massive banner in protest of the construction as harassment that they feel they have been subjected to since NYC Management, property and asset management firm operated by the Besen Group, began performing gut renovations in their building last year. Tenants were joined by the Cooper Square Committee and Lead Dust Free NYC Coalition, as well as New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, New York State Assemblymember Richard Gottfried and representatives from the offices of City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer while they described the conditions they have lived through. Members of the tenants’ association recounted collapsed ceilings which injured tenants, clouds of dust and debris circulating throughout the building, security concerns which have resulted in theft of tenants’ personal items, and unresponsive management. 

Click here to see the full press release with full-size photos.

332 E. 4th Street Tenants: We Will Not Stand for Lead Contamination or Being Bullied for Calling the City for Inspections!

CONTACT : Jodie Leidecker, (212) 228-8210 x116, jodiel
PDF version of this press release here, with DOHMH lead report attached.

332 E. 4th Street Tenants: We Will Not Stand for Lead Contamination
or Being Bullied for Calling the City for Inspections!

Evan Bell-Owned Building Contaminated with 5X Legal Levels of Lead
During Construction

Tenants Hold Press Conference After NYC Dept. of Health Finds
Lead Dust Mere Hours After Work Begins –– Children Live in Building
Where Construction Grossly Contaminated Common Areas

New York, NY –– Tenants of 332 East 4th Street are holding a press conference today at 10:30
a.m. after they recently received notice that work crews hired by Evan Bell’s Bell and
Company contaminated their building with lead-laden construction dust. The contamination
was the result of unchecked dust from demolition work being performed in the building.

Read More

Today at 5:30pm! Join Community, Faith and Labor Leaders in a Moral March for Housing




Last Saturday over 100 activist tenants, advocate state legislators, and housing organizers joined together in a spirited Town Hall meeting.
Legislators emphasized that with existing rent laws expiring in June, we now have an amazing opportunity to pass progressive bills that would protect tenants from unaffordable rents and unwarranted eviction. (see bills here)
We discussed how important it was for tenants to become super-activists for the next 3 months. Let’s start on Thursday, April 11.

Join Community, Faith and Labor Leaders in a Moral March for Housing

Thursday, April 11, 2019  5:30pm – 8:30pm

Abyssinian Baptist Church

132 West 138th Street (btwn 7th Ave and Lenox)

Take the 2/3 to 135th & Lenox, or B/C to 135th & St. Nicholas


Starting with speakers and a choir, followed by a march to the Adam Clayton Powell State Building at 125th St.

If you have any questions, call us at (212) 228-8210 or e-mail Alex or Jodie.

SAT 4/6: Rent Laws Town Hall

Simultaneous translation provided in Spanish and Cantonese/Mandarin.
Traducción simultánea en español y cantonés / mandarín.



Come out to learn more about the new Rent Stabilization law reforms and universal rent control!

Saturday April 6th, 2pm-4pm

University Settlement’s Speyer Hall, 184 Eldridge Street, (F train to 2nd Av)

If our elected officials see the room filled with tenants, they’ll be motivated to work even harder to pass rent laws that protect us.
NY State Assemblymember Niou – confirmed
NY State Assemblymember Epstein – confirmed
NY State Senator Hoylman – confirmed
NY State Senator Kavanagh – confirmed
Light refreshments served &
simultaneous translation in Spanish and Chinese (Mandarin & Cantonese) provided.
Visit , email, or call (212) 228-8210 for more details.
Download 3 language PDF of flyer here.

Celebrate the 3rd Annual Taste of the East Village on Saturday, October 6th, 2018

Click above to buy your ticket!

New York, NY (August 28, 2018) – Taste of the East Village, the popular outdoor food festival on East 7th Street between Cooper Square and 2nd Avenue, takes places on Saturday, October 6th from Noon to 5 pm.  Tickets are on sale here

The Taste of the East Village brings together around 20 of the East Village’s favorite chefs and restaurants to benefit the Cooper Square Committee’s housing programs, and to promote the Gofundme campaign of EVIMA’s President, Jimmy Carbone, a co-founder of the festival. Local chef at Huertas at 107 1st Avenue, Jonah Miller, is chairperson of the festival committee and has selected many of the participating restaurants.

Ticket holders are entitled to four dishes from participating neighborhood restaurants and eateries, including newcomers to the festival like the Eddy, Fry Guys, Ho Foods, Huertas, Maharlika Filipino Moderno,Virginia as well as returning restaurants like Brick Lane Curry, Porsena, Al Horno Mexican Kitchen, Narcbar and Le Petit Parisien. Dessert venues such as Insomnia Cookies, Sweet Generation Bakery, Veneiro’s and Davey’s Ice Cream will also be joining us.  This list is still in formation and we expect some others to join us.

The first 350 attendees to the festival will receive a gift bag containing complimentary appetizers or drinks at many of the participating restaurants. The festival will also include live music and a deejay, as well as more than a dozen local community and cultural organizations like Fourth Arts Block, Downtown Art, East Village Community Coalition, Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, Solar One, Tenants Taking Control, Lower East Side Ready, Met Council on Housing and many more. Some of the groups will have interactive exhibits.

LES READY! Hurricane Relief Resources

Please see this list from our colleagues at LES READY! on how you can help those affected by the recent hurricanes.

In addition:

  1. The Maria Fund,
    Donations go through the Center for Popular Democracy and communities on-the-ground decide how to distribute the money and what to spend it on.
  2. GOLES is collecting donations of physical objects (canned food, diapers, sanitary napkins, clothing) and these are sent to various locations in PR via the post offices. 171 Ave B, 212-533-2541, contact: Ceci Pineda
  3. Resilient Power Puerto Rico is an initiative aimed at immediate-term and long-term recovery in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Your donation will fund the purchase and delivery of high-efficiency solar panels, inverters, wiring equipment and battery backups; installation by local citizens; and on-the-job-training by our electrical engineers, solar technicians and alternative energy experts. Given that over 80% of Puerto Rico is without electricity more than 2 weeks after the storm, impacting homes, stores, hospital and many essential services, this is the most critical component of recovery.
  4. Uprose is an environmental justice organization working closely with several community based organizations doing disaster recovery work in Puerto Rico. You can donate to Uprose, and they will in turn donate the funds to groups such as WhyHunger, Güakiá Colectivo Agroecológico, La Corporación Piñones Se Integra (COPI), and Proyecto Agroecológico El Josco Bravo. Add the memo Por Nuestra Gente: