In January, Victor Torres becomes the first ever non-attorney to become a city-wide coordinator in his substantive area of practice, Social Security. Although the position was temporary (18 months), it was a major breakthrough for non-attorney practitioners.
After 18 months of vocal opposition from Brooklyn A and its supporters, the Legal Services NYC Board of Directors decides to abandon a plan that would restructure legal services in Brooklyn, known as the “Brooklyn Planning Process.”
For 18 months, clients, friends, and Brooklyn A staff rallied against the Brooklyn Planning Process, proposed by Legal Services NYC (LSNYC), and its recommended centralization of Brooklyn legal services; over 25 community organizations were instrumental in voicing support for the work of Brooklyn A, as well as several elected officials, including: New York State Senator John L. Sampson, Congresspersons Nydia Velazquez and Edolphus Towns, Council Member Diana Reyna, and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. The decision was seen as a victory for Brooklyn A, its partners, and the community.
Brooklyn A assists with the incorporation of Arts East New York, also helping it to obtain federal tax exempt status. Brooklyn A and Arts East New York continue to be partners and the organization has become a beacon for the arts and cultural life in East New York, Brooklyn. Brooklyn A has assisted hundreds of nonprofit start-up community groups as an integral part of our CED practice since its inception.
Daniel Hafetz joins the East Brooklyn office as a Skadden Fellow and serves as counsel to Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation on its Cypress Hills Verde Initiative, a groundbreaking, holistic community-wide sustainable development project focused on sustainable housing, jobs, food, transportation, brownfield development, and increased open spaces in the Cypress Hills neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Robert Begleiter, of Schlam Stone & Dolan LLP, joins the Brooklyn A Board of Directors. He currently serves as a member of the Board.
David Lopez, of Southside United Housing Development Fund Corporation (Los Sures), joins the Brooklyn A Board of Directors. He currently serves as a member of the Board.
Robert Sheehan, of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, joins the Brooklyn A Board of Directors.
Brooklyn A honors four individuals at its Annual Partnership Awards Benefit: Thomas Moore and Judith Livingston, partners at Kramer, Dillof, Livingston & Moore; Steven Flax, Vice President of M&T Bank; and Mildred Tudy Johnston of the Crispus Attucks Community Council. Stephen Younger, former President of the New York State Bar Association and current partner at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP served as emcee and guest speaker.
In the continuing struggle over the redevelopment of the Broadway Triangle Urban Renewal Area at the border of Williamsburg and Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn A succeeded in obtaining a preliminary injunction against the City’s political deal that, if implemented, would have exacerbated shocking patterns of racial discrimination and internal exclusion in both the planning and impact of the proposed rezoning and land transfers.
Brooklyn A’s CED Program represents Brownsville Multi-Service Family Health Center (BMS) in the expansion of its primary care facilities at four sites, as part of BMS’s Towards a 21st Century Medical Home Initiative, enabling BMS to provide additional primary and specialty primary and dental care services to tens of thousands of additional patients each year.
Brooklyn A represents Urban Health Plan, Inc. in its 50,000 sq.ft. expansion project of its main health care facility in the South Bronx financed through a combination of new market tax credits and federal and NYC grant funding. The expansion will enable UHP to treat hundreds of thousands of additional patients of the first five years following construction completion.
Brooklyn A honors three individuals at its Annual Partnership Awards Benefit: Sargent Shriver (posthumously); Daniel Nissenbaum, Chief Operating Officer at the Urban Investment Group of Goldman Sachs Bank; and Harvey Lawrence, President and Chief Executive Officer of Brownsville Multi-Service Family Health Center. James Sandman, President of the Legal Services Corporation, was the guest speaker, and Roma Torre of NY1 served as emcee. An award was also presented to Mark Shriver on behalf of his father, Sargent Shriver, founder of the National Legal Services Program.
New York State Supreme Court Judge Emily Goodman grants a preliminary injunction barring the City from moving forward with the development of the proposed Broadway Triangle. Judge Goodman stated that the plaintiffs would likely win at trial in demonstrating that the proposed rezoning violated the federal Fair Housing Act, state and city human rights laws, and the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. On the day of the ruling, New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Libermann stated, “Today’s ruling shows that the city’s housing plan for the Broadway Triangle would perpetuate segregation and discrimination in an area that has been heavily segregated for far too long.”
The Brooklyn A Board of Directors unanimously vote to disassociate from the city-wide Legal Services NYC, of which it has been a part since its inception in 1968. James Windels, Brooklyn A’s Board Chair, said: “The Legal Services NYC Board’s recently announced plan to consolidate the programs in Brooklyn would eliminate Brooklyn A as a separate program and as a localized force for community support and development. Centralization of legal services runs counter to Brooklyn A’s historic mission of providing services in the neighborhoods where our clients live and representing community groups who play a critical in building and sustaining the infrastructure that supports those residents.”
Jyotin Hamid, of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, joins the Brooklyn A Board of Directors. He currently serves as a member of the Board.
Shekar Krishnan, a Law Clerk for a U.S District Judge in the Eastern District of New York, joins the Brooklyn A Board of Directors.
Brooklyn A honors three individuals at its Annual Partnership Awards Benefit: Mariadele Priest, VP, CRA Housing Development at Capital One Bank, with the Denis Berger Award; Diana Reyna, NYC Council Member of the 34th District, with the Sargent Shriver Award; and William Cavanaugh, partner at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, with the Judge Harold R. Tyler, Jr. Award. Samuel Seymour, Partner at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and former President of the New York City Bar Association, was the guest speaker, and Jeanine Ramirez of NY1 served as emcee.