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Strengthening Community Voices

New York City Council Government Operations Committee

Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 1:00PM

250 Broadway, 14th Floor Committee Room

The City Council will be holding a public hearing on  Introduction 1130-A of 2016, which proposes to amend provisions of the Campaign Finance Board’s Small Donor Matching Program by raising the matchable amount of contributions from an eligible donor from $175 to $250 and increasing the amount of public funds available to a participant from 55% of a candidate’s expenditure limit to 85% of a candidate’s expenditure limit.

This bill would empower small donors by potentially giving them a larger voice in municipal elections. Currently, candidates for public office have to contend with the built-in inequity that big-dollar donors have over average citizens. Running for public office costs money – especially in New York City –and in order to raise those funds, candidates have to spend a great deal of time and energy which would better go to engaging with voters concerns. In a town where real estate is one of the bedrock industries and local officials have potent powers over local land use issues, campaign finance reform IS a community preservation issue.

There will be a rally on City Hall steps at 12pm before the hearing.

Link about bill:

Testimony can be sent to:

Rally Against the Demolition of a Historic Brooklyn Church

Our Lady of Loreto

Thursday, April 27 at 11:00AM

126 Sackman Street, Brownsville, Brooklyn

Join neighborhood advocates at a rally to save the beautiful and historic Our Lady of Loreto RC Church.  This 1907 Italian Renaissance Revival-style church building was built for and by the Italian community in Brownsville.  Cherished by its community for decades, it was unfortunately closed and the land proposed for redevelopment. In 2010, thanks to community activists, the NY State Historic Preservation Office entered into an agreement with the owner, Catholic Charities, to allow the use of public funds to develop the site in return for the National-Register-eligible church building remaining if a new use could be found for it. Catholic Charities claims to not have been able to find any interested parties who could reuse the building and recently received demolition permits for the building. The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission “has carefully reviewed this building several times over the past few years, and each time determined not to advance it for further consideration due to the lack of support from critical community stakeholders, including the Council Member.” (quote from LPC response statement, 4/21/17).  

This abrogation of responsibility by government to protect a recognized historic building is a tragedy. While NYSHPO would prefer to see the building saved and LPC seems to feel the building is meritorious, all decision-making power appears to lie with Catholic Charities and CM Espinal.  

If you cannot attend the rally – or even if you can, please make your voice heard at

More information about this campaign: