Tenants Speak Out vs. Eviction by Slumlord, Urge Mayor to Take Steps to Prevent Further Displacement in Chinatown/LES

On May 18, 27 families of 83 and 85 Bowery protested with dozens of other residents, the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and Lower East Side, the office of Public Advocate Leticia James and District Leader Jenifer Rajkumar to condemn their slumlord Joseph Betesh, owner of the Dr. Jay’s hip hop clothing chain store. Since Betesh took ownership of their buildings in 2013, he has deliberately refused to do repairs and renew leases, in an effort to drive these low-income families out of their homes. (more…)

Lower East Side Says Hell No to Extell’s Racist Skyscraper, Demands Mayor de Blasio take Action

Over the past month, hundreds of residents in the Lower East Side and Chinatown have taken to the streets to send a message to Mayor de Blasio: Stop the displacement along the Lower East Side and Chinatown.

On April 28, over 200 residents of the Lower East Side and Chinatown came out to protest against Extell’s new skyscraper for billionaires on Cherry St–a racist development that will displace low income people of color from our own community. The Extell tower is being built on what was  public land that once housed a Pathmark, the only affordable supermarket serving the surrounding public housing developments. The community demanded that Mayor de Blasio take action to stop the Extell tower from being built, and to support the Chinatown Working Group’s rezoning plan to stop displacement.

The Extell development is possible because the racist 2008 East Village rezoning denied the Chinese, Latino, and African American community height protections that the wealthier and White community of the East Village received. This has pushed luxury development into the neighborhood and displaced thousands of low-income residents and small businesses over the past few years.

We are continuing to hold monthly rallies against Extell, the next on May 27 at 11AM. To get involved in the planning of these rallies and help with outreach, please contact us at 212-358-0295.


Check us out in the press!

NY1, Residents Protest Developer’s Plans for High Rise

Bowery Boogie , Anti-Extell Rally Planned This Morning to Oppose Gargantuan 56-Story Tower

The Lo-Down, Groups Set to Protest Extell’s Massive Two Bridges Project Tomorrow Morning

The Lo-Down, Local Groups Rally at Extell’s Cherry Street Site, Demand Zoning Changes

Bedford and Bowery, Protesters Voice Outrage Over Extell’s ‘Building From Hell,’ Coming to the LES

Curbed NY, Protesters Rally Against Extell’s Lower East Side Tower


DNAinfo, Community Activists Rally Against ‘Racist’ Luxury Tower on LES Waterfront, 4.29.2015


Gothamist, Protesters Fight New Luxury Tower Being Built On The LES, 4.29.2015


New York Observer, On the Market: Overcrowding in LIC Schools; the 1st Year Without a Rent Increase?, 4.29.2015


China Press, 纽约下城居民反对华埠附近建豪华高楼, 4.28.2014

Nail Salon, Restaurant, Day Laborer Workers and Advocates Urge Cuomo To Do More for Enforcement

Yesterday NMASS members were joined by other Coalition for a Real Minimum Wage Increase partners to hold a press conference to acknowledge Gov. Cuomo’s recent recognition that the lack of labor law enforcement is a problem and to urge him to do more.

For almost two years, the Coalition has been highlighting the problems of wage theft and lax enforcement. Workers picketed the State Department of Labor for months, protesting its lack of enforcement–long delays and cases settled for almost nothing.


New York Times: When It Comes to Wage Abuses, It’s Not Just Nail Salons

by Jim Dwyer for the New York Times: “…As of the end of 2013, at least $125 million in unpaid judgments and orders for wage reimbursements had piled up over the previous 10 years, according to a study released in March, “Empty Judgments: The Wage Collection Crisis in New York.”

The laws are clear on minimum wages and overtime, and it is also evident that people inclined to beat the law can do so. (more…)

NYC Council & Leticia James Resolve to Stop Wage Theft!

The organizing work of NMASS and the Justice Will Be Served! Campaign inspired the Public Advocate Letitia James and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to introduce a resolution approved by the City Council to support the SWEAT (SecuringWages Earned Against Theft) that we helped to realize. This bill will help stop wage theft by making the law more enforceable–giving tools to workers and their advocates to hold scofflaw employers responsible for paying the wages stolen from workers. The City Council resolution sends a message to Albany that New York City is ready to stop wage theft now!

Tues, 4/28, 11am: LES and Chinatown Rally to STOP Extell’s Racist Luxury Development

The Extell tower is being built on a former publicly-owned lot (the Two Bridges Urban Renewal Area) that housed a Pathmark on 227 Cherry St., the only affordable supermarket serving the surrounding low-income community. Since the Pathmark was closed in 2012, residents have struggled to find quality affordable groceries. Furthermore, the Extell tower will be built in the middle of several NYCHA and publicly subsidized low and moderate income developments.


Workers to City Council: Support State Bill to Stop Crime Wave Against Workers

On April 20, 2015, the NYC Council Committee on Women’s Issues and Committee on Civil Service and Labor  held a hearing on Resolution 0612-2015. The Resolution calls on the NYS Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign, Assembly Bill No. 5501, which will strengthen New York’s labor laws so that workers can actually collect the wages they have earned. Workers and advocates from the Coalition to Secure Wages Earned Against Theft (SWEAT) , of which NMASS is a member, joined the hearing to urge City Council members to pass the resolution and do even more to stop wage theft in NYC. (more…)

Extell’s Racist Development Would Make LES Home to the 1%

Extell Development Corp. plans to build a 72-story, ultra-luxury tower where Pathmark once stood. The Lower East Side needs more low-income housing and affordable services, not luxury housing or hotels.We call on everyone to join and help to organize the community. This racist skyscraper on our waterfront should not be built. We also ask you to support the Chinatown Working Group rezoning plan to stop displacement and ensure the future devel-opment is affordable to low-income families. We need the participation of every single person in this community to make this happen.


Workers, Advocates Announce SWEAT Report in Albany

Almost 50 members of the SWEAT (Securing Wages Earned Against Theft) Coalition traveled to Albany last week to announce the release of a report on wage theft and to expose how the legal system helps employers avoid responsibility for that crime. They were joined by Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal who announced  a new bill to help workers collect their stolen wages. In attendance were workers and advocates from NMASS, the Chinese Staff & Workers Association, Flushing Workers Center, Sweatshop Free Upper West Side, Los Jornaleros Unidos (Day Laborers United), Sisa Pakari, Urban Justice Center, Legal Aid Society, Empire Justice Center, and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice.