APA Event: Housing and Community after Hurricane Sandy

As Chinatown and other communities are still recovering from Sandy, join longtime activists, advocates, writers, and photographers to discuss the effects of natural disasters and poverty on low-income communities of color in New York City. When: Monday, 12/3 @ 7pm

Where: NYU A/P/A Institute @ 8 Washington Mews, between University Place and 5th Avenue (north of Washington Square North & south of 8th Street) Panelists include:

-Jason Chan, Organizer, CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities

-Bethany Li, Staff Attorney, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund

-Alisa Pizarro, Public Housing Resident and Organizer, Red Hook Initiative

-Damaris Reyes, Executive Director, Good Old Lower East Side

-Garrett Wright, Staff Attorney, Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center

With introductory remarks by Suketu Mehta, author of the critically-acclaimed Maximum City, and photographs by Open City magazine contributors Gina Chung, E. Tammy Kim, and Yuko Torihara. Curated by E. Tammy Kim.

Cosponsored by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities, Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center, Good Old Lower East Side, Open City magazine of the Asian American Writers' Workshop, and Red Hook Initiative.

RSVP by Friday, November 30 at www.apa.nyu.edu/events, apa.rsvp@nyu.edu, or 212.992.9653.


This coming Saturday, Chinatown will be having a street fair that includes performances and lots of eating.

In efforts to help to bring back business into the community; many vendors will be offering small dishes for $1.  This is a similar concept to the Taste of Chinatown which was very popular after 9-11.  Even for businesses that did not participate in the tasting event benefited by the draw of traffic into the area.  Hoping for the same thing this time!

Check it out this Saturday!


Chinatown Street Fair

 Saturday, Dec 1 from 12-5pm

Mott Street (from Canal to Worth St), Bayard Street (From Bowery to Mulberry St), Pell Street and, Doyers Street, and stage performances at Confucius Plaza (next to Bowery)



This is the state of where things are at: 1) We have not scratched the surface of people's needs. Today outreach volunteers reported back to us that folks in public housing had no water and no electricity. The ones who could do it were filling up water from a broken hydrant and walking it up over 10 flights of stairs. Hundreds of tenants were able to get some donations, but they were going out the door as fast as they were coming in. We will not be able to sustain this level of need. 2) Everyone is coming to us in the community. We had folks from the City-run evacuation center at Seward Park come to us asking for supplies. The 7th precinct had our sign on their front door and their front desk were directing people to us. At the same time other officers from the 7th precinct TRIED TO SHUT US DOWN. 3) Where is the leadership of this City? Where is FEMA? We were told on Wall Street the lights are on in all the buildings, and Christmas lights are on in the streets. It was clear where the priority is when the community next door has not been prioritized. Today was another day where there was no information given out and City officials were nowhere to be seen.

This is what we need immediately: 1) Donations. Specifically-- food, water, flashlights, batteries (AA, AAA, D). We could use another generator and power outlets for people to charge things. 2) Volunteers. To help with outreach, distribution of supplies, and organizing/moving people. We anticipate more than double the amount of people to come through tomorrow. We're also getting specific requests to check up on seniors and would like to be able to do that if possible. (Note: If you plan on coming through you will not have much ability to use your cellphone. Maybe texts, but not much else.) 3) Take action. Call 311 and demand that the leaders of this City take responsibility for Chinatown/Lower East Side and other still impacted communities. Stop putting people over profits. The people of our communities deserve just as much attention as Wall Street and Times Square.

And of course, we can always use financial donations. Just today alone, CAAAV staff and volunteers used hundreds of dollars of our own money to buy flashlights and batteries. Please consider making a donation at http://www.nycharities.org/donate/c_donate.asp?CharityCode=1838&amount&designategift2.

We are still operating from 10am-5pm each day until electricity comes back on in the neighborhood and when the City decides that our communities are important enough to send resources to.

If you have any questions or want to support, reach out to us at justice@caaav.org. We are trying to get back to people as soon as we can, but we're most likely able to respond after 8pm when we can get to a place with cell service. The best thing you can do is just come down and bring stuff/people with you.

Thanks! Helena

-- Helena Wong, Executive Director CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities 46 Hester Street New York NY 10002 (212) 473-6485 || www.caaav.org

Resources to help NYC businesses recover from Sandy

From the Office of the Manhattan Borough President: Here are some key sources of assistance that are coordinated by the New York City Department of Small Business Services and the New York City Economic Development Corporation to help with those businesses affected by the storm and its aftermath:

  1. For small to mid-sized businesses that are facing business interruption, NYC Business Emergency Loans will be available, with loans capped at $10,000. For information call 311.
  2. For businesses facing displacement, the City is making short-term “swing” office space available at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, free of charge for 30 days. EDC has about 40,000 square feet of space at the Terminal that is now available for this use.
  3. For businesses requiring other emergency assistance the SBS Business Outreach Team and Emergency Response Unit is available to help impacted small businesses.
  4. For mid-to-large-sized businesses that need to undertake rebuilding, an emergency sales tax letter from New York City Industrial Development Authority (IDA) is available to allow businesses to avoid payment of New York City and New York State sales taxes on materials purchased for rebuilding. Please contact Shin Mitsugi at smitsugi@nycedc.com for information.

In addition, the following Federal Aid Programs for State of New York Disaster Recovery are available:

  1. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides loans for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance, and for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster. To learn more contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling (800) 621-3362.
  2. In addition, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides loans to individuals, families and businesses in an area whose property has been damaged or destroyed following a Presidential-declared disaster (such as Hurricane Sandy), and whose losses are not covered by insurance. To learn more, contact the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955.

Further information about these programs and others is available in Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Guide to Disaster Assistance and Relief Funding and Senator Charles Schumer’s Hurricane Sandy recovery website.