Trinity Church Awards Grants to 14 Lower Manhattan Public-Service Groups
Trinity’s priest-in-charge, the Reverend Phil Jackson: “While New York City is showing signs of recovery after the past two years of the pandemic, we can’t ignore the serious issues we still face. Our latest round of grants is going to organizations that are facing these issues head on—organizations on the front lines of the housing and mental health crises, and criminal justice reform.”
Trinity Church, the Episcopal parish in Lower Manhattan, has awarded $23.4 million in grants to 100 non-profit and public service organizations throughout the United States and around the world. Most of these contributions (which average slightly more than $200,000) are directed to New York-based organizations, and 14 of those are headquartered in Lower Manhattan.
“While New York City is showing signs of recovery after the past two years of the pandemic, we can’t ignore the serious issues we still face,” said the Rev. Phillip A. Jackson, Trinity’s Rector. “Our latest round of grants is going to organizations that are facing these issues head on—organizations on the front lines of the housing and mental health crises, and criminal justice reform.”
Among the Lower Manhattan organizations benefitting from Trinity’s support are the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), where the Project Impact team received a $150,000 grant to focus on keeping students affected by the justice system enrolled during the COVID-19 pandemic, which placed challenging demands on students, particularly in the areas of housing and food insecurity. Since 2012 BMCC has received $2.2 million from Trinity’s grant programs.
“While the pandemic placed extra hardships and demands on our students, including homelessness, illness and food insecurity, Trinity funds enabled us to support many students in persevering, finishing their semesters, and graduating,” said Julie Appel, BMCC’s Project Impact director.
Another local recipient is the Downtown Alliance, which has financially supported local small business and cultural institutions during the pandemic. The mission of the Downtown Alliance is to enhance Lower Manhattan for businesses, residents and visitors. In furtherance of these goals, the Alliance not only operates the local Business Improvement District, but also provides local security and trash pickup. Among the services provided by the Alliance that Lower Manhattan residents especially prize is the Downtown Connection shuttle, which ferries passengers free of charge between more than 30 local stops that link residential areas with business and shopping districts, as part of a partnership with the Battery Park City Authority.
Trinity is also supporting the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development, an umbrella organization of 100 non-profit affordable housing and economic development groups that serve low- and moderate-income residents in all five boroughs of the City, along with the Center for Family Representation, which seeks to keep families together by providing legal and social work services to primarily Black and Brown families at risk of separation through foster care or juvenile incarceration.
The Citizens Housing and Planning Council of New York received a grant to support its mission of developing and advancing practical public policies to support the housing stock of the City by better understanding New York’s most pressing housing and neighborhood needs. Trinity also awarded a grant to the Coalition for the Homeless, the nation’s oldest advocacy and direct service organization helping homeless individuals and families.
Enterprise Community Partners received a donation to further its work in addressing America’s massive shortage of affordable rental homes, by increasing housing supply and advancing racial equity, while also building both resilience and upward mobility. The Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter was singled out for support because of its work to provide New Yorkers who are homeless (or at risk of homelessness) with housing, community, and access to support services. Similarly, a contribution to the Center for New York City Neighborhoods will support its work to promote and protect affordable homeownership in New York.
The Safety Net Project received a grant for its efforts to reduce poverty and homelessness and to bolster the social safety net, by combining direct legal services, research and policy advocacy, media advocacy, and community organizing, all with the aim of preventing evictions, illegal rent increases, uninhabitable living conditions.
Women in Need, the largest provider of family shelter and supportive housing in New York City, was given a grant to support the 14 shelters and 400 supportive housing units it operates throughout New York City.
The New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project was awarded a donation for its mission empower lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected communities and allies to end all forms of violence through organizing and education, along with counseling and advocacy.
And the Urban Justice Center—which serves tens of thousands of people a year on critical issues ranging from homelessness to discrimination, seeking asylum, or escaping intimate partner violence—was given a subsidy to further its work. Last year, the Center helped more than 24,000 people, closed 12,481 cases (on issues from restraining orders to illegal evictions), and recovered nearly $2 million in benefits for people in desperate need. Separately, Freedom Agenda (a project of the Urban Justice Center) that is dedicated to organizing people and communities directly impacted by incarceration to achieve decarceration and system transformation, was also given a grant.
“In a time of uncertainty and what can seem like constant change and disruption—locally, nationally, and internationally—Trinity seeks to be responsive to our community and to our grantees,” said Neill Coleman, executive director of Trinity Church Philanthropies. “We are committed to walking alongside them as they do life-changing work and stand up for the most vulnerable in their communities and ours.”
‘Show Me the Records!’
Adams Agrees to Discuss Release of Documents from 2001 about City Hall’s Awareness of Ground Zero Health Risks
Mayor Eric Adams has taken a step that was blocked by three of his predecessors. He is willing to consider releasing documents concealed by the administrations of Mayors Rudy Giuliani, Michael Bloomberg, and Bill de Blasio about what information City Hall had in the weeks following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, regarding environmental toxins released by the collapse of the World Trade Center.
I hope you are taking time to celebrate summer in our glorious neighborhood. As the Acting Chair of the Battery Park City Authority’s Board—and resident of this community for going on 40 years—I wanted to update you on three key initiatives, specifically our efforts to protect our community from more frequent and more severe coastal storms, our responsibilities managing the Authority’s finances, and our duties administering the Authority’s ground leases. Though not new, these issues are complex—and as residents you should be armed with accurate information about the management of the community we all call home.
Protecting Our Neighborhood – Resiliency Plans
The Authority has pursued a deliberate and collaborative approach in developing key projects to protect our neighborhood, just as urban coastal communities around the world are confronting similar challenges. Though it is certainly sad that some of our public spaces will need to close for construction in the months and years ahead, those temporary closures will enable us to protect and enhance that which we value so dearly—our parks, public spaces, homes, and personal safety. The science is clear that storms are becoming more severe and more frequent, and we need to act accordingly. Simply put, these projects couldn’t be more urgent. I encourage you all to stay tuned for additional outreach from the Authority as construction on the South Battery Park City Resiliency Project commences in the months ahead, and to join in the planning for the North/West Battery Park City Resiliency Project as the team begins that project’s designs.
Our Stewardship of Public Funds
Battery Park City is unique in that we use the New York City real estate taxes we collect (known as PILOT), as well as ground rent, for the benefit of our community before transferring the residual of those real estate taxes to the City. In general, of the $326 million collected, about half comes from commercial properties and half from residential properties; 80% comes from PILOT and 15% from ground rent—the private rental of a public asset. Over $105 million—nearly one-third of what’s collected—stays in BPC and pays for the operations, maintenance, and capital expenses on our 92 acres. The Public Benefit Corporation model that provides for the Authority to use tax and ground rent payments is precisely why the commercial and residential owners and tenants enjoy world class parks and public spaces, and are the beneficiaries of the Authority’s ability to fund capital programs like these resiliency projects, which will protect our homes, businesses, schools, and cultural institutions, as well as Lower Manhattan overall. I don’t know any other homeowners who can say that they know precisely how their hard-earned real estate payments are used. We should be proud and relieved that we benefit as we do.
Residential Affordability and Our Management of Ground Leases
For certain, all New Yorkers would like their rent reduced. However, the Authority’s Board members must actively manage the Authority’s ground leases, including those of our 18 condominium buildings. As fiduciaries of the 92-acre Battery Park City property—a valuable public asset—we must ensure that, pursuant to the leases, we collect the critical funds for our operations and capital projects and important City services, including affordable housing development across the city. At the same time, we have worked in good faith for many years to provide economic stability to homeowners through a predictable ground rent schedule reaching far into the future, and to reduce disparities in ground rent per square foot across BPC’s buildings over time. In 2011 and 2012 we renegotiated ground leases for 12 of the 18 condominium buildings, and we have worked with or are working with the remaining six buildings as their contractual ground rent resets approach.
While BPCA continues to engage with individual buildings in pursuit of our objectives, we are also pursuing a program whereby ground rent increases would be deferred for certain residents with a demonstrated financial need. BPCA believes it is fiscally irresponsible to agree to below market ground rent increases otherwise, particularly for some of the most high-end real estate in New York City. However, we recognize that not all resident homeowners can easily pay increased living expenses, and we aim to finalize this program in the months ahead.
On a Personal Note
I have lived and worked in our community since 1983. I lived at Gateway Plaza as a pioneer in the neighborhood for six years and moved down the street in 1989 when I was married. My husband and I raised our two daughters here. After September 11, I became active in the community. I ran the Battery Park City Parents Association, eventually co-chairing the Neighborhood Association with Rosalie Joseph. Together with Anthony Notaro, we organized the first Block Party, and Bob Townley of Manhattan Youth helped us to set up a fun and free children’s area for a number of years. My husband and I arranged a forgivable loan for the Battery Park City Day Nursery so that it could survive reduced enrollment during the rebuilding period of the neighborhood. Halloween lists, parades, holiday parties as well as advocacy for parks, schools, and community centers were all important to us. I count my neighbors among my dearest friends.
I am a proud member of this community and remain proud to volunteer on the BPCA board. My fellow board members include two other local residents and three seasoned business leaders with experience that helps guide the Authority. Working with many of you, we have helped make this community into the thriving success story it is today. Our work continues.
I have written on this previously when it came up and the solution is so simple that it stuns me that it still has to be debated.
Taken as a basic that the cobblestones represent an important historical / archeological interest and should not be replaced or covered over, it would be a simple and reasonably cheap matter to:
a. Post warning signs along the street sides and at the heads of the streets for bikers
b. Install pedestrian crossovers in concrete or suitable building blocks at the beginning and ends of each street.
Please, can’t we put this easily resolved problem to a final rest!
Eyes to the Sky July 12 – 30, 2022
Cosmos of starry skies reflected in Earth’s fireflies
Photo: Mike Lewinski, Milo, Maine via Flicker.com and Greg Seitz
In dark sky locations on June and July nights, in the absence of moonlight, the cosmos of stars meets and seems to blend with brilliant, flashing firefly lights in the space between treetops and ground in a great, animated surround. At nightfall, blinking lightning bugs stream over wild meadows, fallow hay fields, parks and gardens where artificial light is minimized—leaving the awe-struck stargazer rapt in Earth’s near atmosphere that is alive with luminescent, courting beetles.
The first image from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope offers a stunning new view of the universe. This first-of-a-kind infrared image is so distant in the cosmos that it shows stars and galaxies as they appeared 13 billion years ago. Credit: NASA
During the coming few nights and early mornings, a nearly full supermoon (closest to Earth) drenches the summer landscape in alluring light that encourages walking and exploring outdoors. The Full Thunder or Hay Moon reaches full phase at 2:38pm on July 13. Its disk is 99.59% full. Moonrise is at 9pm. Greet the setting moon in the west-southwest on the 14th at 6:11am.
CB1 Wants Tribeca’s Cobblestone Streets Preserved, But Made Safe
A resolution recently enacted by Community Board 1 calls upon the City to repair seven blocks of historic cobblestone streets in Tribeca. This follows a months-long dialog within the Board about whether safety concerns necessitated the removal of the historic surfaces (which are also landmarked), and their replacement with standard tar pavement.
Take a self-guided tour of the tall ship Wavertree, and visit the 12 Fulton Street galleries to view the exhibitions “South Street and the Rise of New York” and “Millions: Migrants and Millionaires aboard the Great Liners.” Through Sunday. Free.
BLOOM! is the newest creation of SWAY (formerly known as Australia’s Strange Fruit) atop their signature 14 foot sway poles. BLOOM! is a family-friendly, colorful, and spirited 20-minute performance exploring themes of earth and nature, community, transformation, individuality, and diversity. Performances at 12:30pm, 3:30pm and 5:30pm. Free
Opening night reception to kickoff the week-long Ladies of Hip Hop festival! Ladies of Hip-Hop is a Black women-led non-profit dedicated to the empowerment of women and preservation of street and club dance forms. What started as local workshops in Philadelphia has transformed into a week-long festival. $10-$15.
Available for PT/FT. Wonderful person, who is a great worker.
Worked in BPC.
$2.00 per notarized signature.
Today in History: July 13
On this day in 2017, Liu Xiaobo died of liver cancer a few weeks after being granted medical parole from prison. He was a writer, literary critic, human rights activist, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. In the 1980s, he was a visiting scholar at international universities. He returned to China in 1989 to support the Tiananmen Square protests and was arrested for the first time then. In the following years, he was imprisoned several times for calling for political reform in China. During his fourth prison term, he was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for “his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.” Photo: Nobel Peace Prize website.
587 BC – Babylon’s siege of Jerusalem ends following the destruction of Solomon’s Temple.
1793 – Journalist and French revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat is assassinated in his bathtub by Charlotte Corday, a member of the opposing political faction.
1863 – New York City draft riots: In New York City, opponents of conscription begin three days of rioting which will be later regarded as the worst in United States history.
1919 – The British airship R34 lands in Norfolk, England, completing the first airship return journey across the Atlantic.
1956 – The Dartmouth workshop, aka the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence, was a summer gathering of scientists and mathematicians that is considered to be the founding event of artificial intelligence as a field.
1973 – In the Watergate scandal, Alexander Butterfield reveals the existence of a secret Oval Office taping system to investigators for the Senate Watergate Committee.
1977 – New York City suffers a 24-hour blackout during which looting and arson are widespread.
2011 – United Nations Security Council Resolution 1999 is adopted, which admits South Sudan to member status of United Nations.
1864 – John Jacob Astor IV, American colonel and businessman (d. 1912)
1924 – Johnny Gilbert, American game show host and announcer
1942 – Harrison Ford, American actor and producer
1957 – Cameron Crowe, American director, producer, and screenwriter
1989 – Leon Bridges, American soul singer-songwriter
982 – Pandulf II, Lombard prince
1399 – Jadwiga, queen of Poland (b. 1373/4)
1402 – Jianwen, Chinese emperor (b. 1377)
1893 – Young Man Afraid of His Horses, American tribal chief (b. 1836)
1946 – Alfred Stieglitz, American photographer and curator (b. 1864)
2010 – George Steinbrenner, American businessman (b. 1930)
2014 – Nadine Gordimer, South African author and Nobel laureate, dies at 90
2017 – Liu Xiaobo, Chinese writer, human rights activist, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, dies at 61
2020 Grant Imahara, American TV Mythbuster, dies of a brain aneurysm at 49