This morning at University Settlement, community activists are gathering for a press conference meant to keep the pressure on the de Blasio administration over the Rivington House debacle. Neighbors to Save Rivington House is the same group that started a petition drive that now boasts more than 1300 online signatures. Here’s more from the organization’s media advisory:
Neighbors and elected officials will gather on Monday, June 27th to voice growing concerns and provide additional information on the fall-out from the loss of Rivington House nursing home services, and provide an update on investigations… Since May 28th 2016… on-line supporters… have joined neighbors, small businesses, former staff and residents, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Congress Member Nydia Velasquez, Borough President Gale Brewer, Council Member Margaret Chin, Council Member Rosie Mendez, Comptroller Scott Stringer, State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, US Attorney Preet Bharara, and Community Board 3 in shocked disbelief over the secretive removal of this lifesaving community resource from the disabled, the elderly and infirm and to demand Rivington House be returned to the people who need it most… Neighbors to Save Rivington House formed out of groups of concerned community residents, community organizations and leaders who came together to keep Rivington House on the Lower East Side, knowing first-hand how vital the home was to the people who lived and worked there. “We will not let this go unchallenged. The people who were hurt, who will be hurt by this apparently have no voice that was deemed worth listening to. So ours will just have to get louder. We won’t go away,” said K Webster, President Sara Roosevelt Park Coalition.
The group is also highlighting some of the more compelling comments received from people signing the petition. Here’s a sampling:
This neighborhood welcomed the creation of an AIDS Hospice in 1992 when the stigma of that scourge was at its height and the targeting of those communities who were suffering were still being shunned. Staff and residents built a community out of those ashes and neighbors gifted their garden lot to the institution with the ironclad agreement that the building would remain in service to the public in perpetuity. Rivington House helped to save my partner’s life. It should NOT be turned into condos. -Scott Morgan.
For the better part of ten years I volunteered, then trained volunteers, at Rivington House. I learned and loved the residents there, and had many happy moments when they’d stop me in the neighborhood to say hello. They were a part of the community. I also voted for Bill de Blasio. That the deed restriction was altered under hinky circumstances to benefit real estate developers disappoints me wildly. We need more services for the poor and infirmed, not for the wealthy. Restore the deed. Restore Rivington House. -Kimberly Massengill.
As a former resident of Eldridge St at Rivington, I am dismayed that after fighting for so long to restore the Rivington House to the public service, you, the mayor we were waiting for, would allow the betrayal of that purpose. I’m even more shocked to have heard you on the radio defending yourself by saying your people “lied “to you! Really? Then did you fire them? How could you take away such an important community resource? I thought you were the mayor who defended the needy, who had more discretion about where investment was appropriate. What a sad day for the Lower East Side! -Katya Peterson.
The news conference takes place at 11:30 a.m. in Speyer Hall at University Settlement, 184 Eldridge St. Click here if you would like to sign the petition.