Issues of the The Cooper Square Committee E-Newsletter are listed below.

The Cooper Square Committee’s Organizing Work & Accomplishments in 2014

Our organizing team was so busy in 2014. We accomplished a ton in this past year… read on about all the ways we’ve been stopping displacement and building community!!

Download the PDF version of this Roundup!Click here to download the PDF version of this Roundup! 

Major Organizing Efforts and Coalitions

  • Through partnering with St. Nick’s alliance and the Urban Justice Center (UJC), Cooper Square Committee (CSC) created a much-needed campaign to reform the Department of Buildings (DOB) in 2014. For well over a year preceding this we had been working with community members to organize and draw attention to the problem of “construction as harassment.” In 2014 we were able to further connect with some of our most steadfast allies (close to 20 organizations) throughout the City to formalize a campaign to reform DOB and work on ending “construction as harassment.” The work we did last year is leading us to a pivotal year in 2015 where we will be looking to create new laws to better support tenants who are dealing with landlords who use the guise of construction to harass.
  • Click on any photo to enlarge. All photos on this page taken by CSC unless otherwise noted.


  • CSC’s organizing department was a lead community-group partner with the NYS Attorney General’s (AG) office in their investigation of the “tenant relocator” Michel Pimienta. The organizing we did and information we provided helped the AG wage a precedent-setting investigation which led to the shuttering of Michel’s operations.  UJC and CAAAV were also partners in this effort.


  • Photo credit: Zach Williams for The Villager

    Press conference at Mahfar building, 210 Rivington. Photo credit: Zach Williams for The Villager

    Led the organizing to help form the Mahfar Tenants Coalition. Both UJC and CAAAV are also involved with the amazing work happening here. This coalition, which includes half a dozen Samy Mahfar (SMA Equities) owned buildings, is fiercely pushing back against this landlord’s attempt to vacate and renovate Lower East Side (LES) buildings en masse. In 2014 the tenants from these buildings called Mahfar to the table, used city agencies and local politicians to step up enforcement in their buildings, and held a powerful press conference in December 2014 after lead contamination was verified to have occurred in their buildings.  The tenants of the Mahfar Tenants Coalition have proven to be some of the strongest fighters we’ve seen in 2014! Read More

Year End Highlights and Donor Appeal

As 2012 comes to a close, our community is still hurting in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.  The Cooper Square Committee’s office did not suffer any damage from the storm but we were without power for a week, and saw our work load quickly become backlogged upon returning.  Those needing assistance included people impacted by the storm, as well as the many low income tenants who seek our help in the normal course of events.  During the past couple of weeks, we have been working with our project partner, the Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association (MHA), and with other agencies including FEMA, to assist people displaced by the storm.  We’ve been contacted by more than 20 people who have been displaced from their homes by the storm, and we are interviewing many of them with the aim of placing at least 8 of them in temporary housing owned by the MHA as soon as possible.

Read More

3rd Avenue Festival, June 19th

The Cooper Square Committee is having our annual 3rd Avenue Festival on Saturday, June 19th.  The festival will extend from East 6th Street to East 14th Street, from 11 am to 6 pm, with scores of vendors and many non-profit organizations.
There will be live music from 1 pm to 5 pm.  Our Arts Committee will be putting together a line up of musical acts for the day.  Auditions to perform are closed.
If you would like to be a vendor, you still can.  Contact Mike Debellis at Clearview Festival Productions, our production partner, at 646-230-0713 or email him here.

J-51 Legal Workshop

Attention Market Rate Tenants
Living in Buildings
Receiving J-51 Tax Benefits!

Important legal workshop on the impact on market rate tenants in J-51 tax abatement buildings by the recent New York State Court of Appeals landmark ruling on the Roberts vs. Tishman Speyer Properties, L.P. case. The ruling held that these apartments were illegally deregulated into market rate units due to J-51 restrictions.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 :: 6:30 PM

Middle Collegiate Church, 50 East 7th Street
(between 1st and 2nd Avenues)

Read More