Date: June 26, 2012
From: East 93rd Street Block Association, New York, NY 10128
To: The Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg
To: The Honorable Christine C. Quinn
“The firmest friendships have been forged in mutual adversity.”
The proposed East 91st Street MTS has provided the glue that has bonded the members of the East 93rd Street Block Association with the leaders of the Isaacs/Holmes Towers NYCHA development.
Together we have united in a relationship that reaches far and wide and includes not only the resident leaders of Isaacs/Holmes as well as the Directors of Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center, and their Youth and Senior Programs, the Eiseman Nursery School and Day Care Center, and includes the director of New York’s largest mosque, the Islamic Cultural Center on East 96th Street. Our community’s fight against the proposed new MTS has far-reaching friends to the north, south, east and west.
Prior to forming this new coalition, the tenants of Isaacs/Holmes were for the most part ignored. They were perceived as people who neither raised their voices, nor voted on critical issues. But nothing is further from the truth.
For more than 45 years the under-served people in this city housing development abutting the previous E. 91st Street garbage dump suffered. They endured the stench of the garbage, the vermin, and the bird excrement the city visited upon them. They remember the noisy, grimy garbage trucks lined up around their buildings which contributed to the worst air quality and the highest asthma rate in the city. Tenants did not then and most still do not have air conditioning. Their fresh air came and still comes largely through their open windows. The city can spin the myth that garbage can be made odorless. But don’t try to tell that to the residents of Isaacs/Holmes. They know the truth!
And it was the tenants of Isaacs/Holmes who together with members of the East 93rd Street Block Association and Upper Green Side organized a postcard signing campaign protesting the construction of the new E. 91st Street MTS. Isaacs & Holmes residents signed cards. Eiseman Nursery & Day Care Center parents signed cards. The Youth Center children and parents signed cards. Stanley Isaacs Senior Center members signed cards. Children and parents of the Beacon Program signed cards (for which funding is being cut and the program is being canceled!) Neighbors throughout the entire community signed cards.
Yes, beyond any doubt: The entire community is a friend of Isaacs/Holmes!
We have more than 2000 signed postcards and the signing sessions continue !
The residents of Isaacs/Holmes are no longer a silent majority. They better than anyone know… garbage stinks! Garbage is a feast for rats and birds. All our children play in local playgrounds and on the athletic fields of Asphalt Green. Everyone knows the foul garbage smell that permeated the air when the “old” MTS was operational.
In the 21st Century, garbage should not be permitted anywhere near public housing, schools, playgrounds, athletic fields or where people live!
Though the times may be different for a lot of people, we know that the lack of essential amenities in NYCHA developments are legendary. The residents of Isaacs/Holmes are no longer alone.
Their voices are now many thousands strong, joined by their friends and neighbors!
We have a voice! We vote!