Dear friends of P.S. 109,
Thank you for having signed our petition to restore and reuse P.S. 109, located at 215 East 99th Street, as a public school within the New York City school system. We have been sending the petitions to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and all East Harlem elected officials.
Attached, please find a blank petition (also downloadable as html from http://www.saveps109.com/petition_DL.html
or as MSWord from http://www.saveps109.com/petition_DL.doc
). Please collect signatures to fill the petition, and send it back to us. Your newly collected signatures will be added to the hundreds already submitted. In addition we are asking you to send Mayor Bloomberg and School Chancellor Klein a letter, even if you have already done so requesting PS 109 be restored and reused for use a New York City public school.
Send your letter's to: Mayor Bloomberg City Hall, New York NY. 10007
Chancellor Klein New York City Department of Education, 52 Chambers St. NYC 10007
This update contains important news on the struggle to restore P.S. 109 for public use as a school within the New York City school system.
The Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) has just won a court order, directing Governor
Pataki immediately to return $14.6 billion, withheld starting in the 1990s, to New York City's educational capital budget, including $10 million originally earmarked under Mayor David Dinkins, for repair and restoration of P.S. 109 in 1994! We are advocating now to make sure the funds are put to their intended use.
On April 20th, I attended a CFE conference, attended by City Council Education Committee Chair Robert Jackson. I spoke about P.S. 109 pointing out PS 109 is a direct casualty of the cuts imposed on NYC schools over the last 14 years.
On April 26th, Rev. Norman Eddy, long time East Harlem activist and former chair of the East Harlem Coalition to Improve Our Public Schools, Coalition architect Robert Cabrera, and I attended a meeting with Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer's Land Use Committee. Rev. Eddy submitted a study that his coalition had produced in 2003, that provides documentation to the overcrowding of East Harlem schools. I
pointed out the benefits of gaining 1200 school seats in our district.
The restoration and reuse of P.S. 109, are under a crucial challenge, however:
A Minneapolis-based not-for-profit called Artspace, assisted by Operation Fightback, is attempting a controversial no-bid acquisition of the building, and its conversion to 50% Artist lofts and 50% market rate apartments, instead of a school. It gets worse: Our new City Councilmember, Melissa Mark Viverito, has come out for the conversion, announcing to the April 5th meeting of Community Education Council 4 that she was "satisfied" with the proposal.
CEC4 chair Hector Nazario went on record reiterating support for the restoration and reuse of P.S. 109 and its reuse as a school, and CEC4 support for the Coalition to Save PS 109.
The Councilmember insisted, falsely that the takeover is a "done deal," in the face of denials by both the NYC Housing Preservation Department and Artspace. This not a
Please remember the demolition of PS 109 in 1999 was a "done deal." We stopped the illegal demolition. PS 109 stands proud today, on the National Register of Historic Places, awaiting restoration and the joyful voices of the children of New York City.
Believe in the power of community.
We thank you for you participation in stepping up to the plate and speaking out on behalf our children.
Gwen Goodwin, Chair
Coalition to Save P.S. 109