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Converting Hotels for the Homeless

 In June 2021, the NYS Legislature passed a bill with a $100 million price tag that would permit hotel owners to convert their closed hotels to low income housing for the homeless. It is almost a year later and not one conversion has taken place. Housing advocates celebrated when the state legislature passed the bill. But the state legislature was only half done. The legislators needed to get rid of the needless regulations so that the closed hotels could become residences. Nothing has happened. There are two classes of hotels - those in commercial zoning and not in residential zoning so that it is not possible to convert these hotels without a zoning change. A simple fix is to suspend zoning for any hotel in a commercial zone. Such a fix has not happened. Another class of hotels are those already in residential zoning but need to come up to code. A simple fix is to suspend the code. There are almost 50,000 homeless people in the city of New York. Does it really matter if the doorways
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President Biden's Dilemma

 Main Street is hurting. Inflation has arrived; the kids are still not back in school on a regular basis; Covid is worse than ever. Wall Street is still booming although it is increasingly edgy. President Biden enters the room and tells us all the good things he has done. He even called on Tom Hanks to put out a video sharing the good things that have happened. But that is not the way Americans are feeling. And yes, job growth is terrific and unemployment is low. But what Biden doesn't get is that the kids are still not back in school, and that we are paying more for groceries, and the cost of a new car is out of sight. Biden needs to take a page from FDR. Yes, the Democrat who changed the course of American history. FDR did not deny that times were bad. He said so and then he told the American people everything he had done to improve their lot. And then he asked them to do something - in FDR's case, the people had to go to the banks and put their money back into the banks. FDR
 Class: Budgeting and Financial Management for Nonprofits I have a series of videos about budgeting and financial management for nonprofits that might be useful to those interested in nonprofits. Here is the first one - Week 1: Budgeting & Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wj98gkvN7A0

Trump Era and Nazism

In James Whitman's book, Hitler's American Model, he writes that the German Nazis regime in the 1930s learned much from American racism. In 1935, the Nazis sent 45 lawyers to America to study our race-based legal system. These lawyers had a reception with the NYC Bar Association. Whitman found document after document in the German archives about the lessons Nazis had learned from the United States. We knew before he was elected that Trump was a racist. He demonstrated that time and again in New York City. His most infamous action - asking for the death penalty for the "Central park Five" who, ten years after imprisonment, were found to have been innocent. Trump continued as president to be incredibly racist. After Charlottesville, Timothy Snyder in the New York Times writes that President Trump faced an easy test , and failed. When presented with an obvious opportunity to condemn the evil that was and is Nazism, he first waited, then equivocated, then read from a te
Letter to the Editor, New York Times, December 21, 2021 A lead article in Monday’s paper reads, “Biden Tries to Salvage Domestic Policy Bill After Rift With Manchin.” Why doesn’t the article read, “Manchin’s Betrays Americans, Stays Loyal to Financial Interests.” I don’t understand why the New York Times is providing so much help to obstructionists whose chief aim is to stop Biden’s reform agenda. Many senators are quite corrupt and are paid off by the oil, pharmaceutical and/or financial interests. The media, including the Times, needs to step up and question why Manchin takes the positions that he does. Manchin doesn’t support taxing the highest incomes to pay for Biden’s ambitious and desperately needed policies for working families. Manchin’s position serves millionaires like himself. If the media doesn’t dig deeper, the media contributes to the miseducation of countless Americans. And that leads us back to 2016.

Federal Government and the Lack of Affordable Housing

The federal government hasn't built public housing since the 1960s. President Johnson pushed Congress to pass the 1968 Housing Act that became a major time of construction of public housing almost doubling such units across the country. In addition, Bobby Kennedy and Senator Jacob Javits pushed through a 1966 amendment to the Economic Development Act that provided private developers with incentives payments to invest in poverty areas.   Once the Reagan era began that was the end of public housing. Instead, Reagan signed the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which slowed building of low-income housing further. First, the act repealed accelerated depreciation and the use of depreciation deductions to offset other ordinary income, precipitating a sharp drop in multifamily housing production. Second, the law placed a cap, for the first time, on states’ authority to issue tax-exempt bonds for multifamily housing and imposed income limits on eligible households. Third, the act created the Low In

When are we going to stop blaming teachers

It has been proven time and again that American schools are divided by class. Those in well funded school districts score fine on tests; those in poorly funded districts do not do well on tests. The resources schools receive are based upon the local property tax and where there is wealth, there is a decent public school. I can understand people concluding that we should change the way we fund our schools. What I can't understand is how teachers can be blamed for the test results of their students who are in these poorly resourced schools. It is bizarre. These so-called reformers who blame teachers for students failing standardized tests have taken leaps of logic down the rabbit hole. If a school is the center of a poorly resourced community, those students will reflect that poverty. Poverty has enormous impact on children which has been proven time and time again. To believe that teachers can make up for that poverty and somehow change the trajectory of that child is simply th