Rally for Community Input for DoB Reform, Thursday, June 12

Dear Fellow New Yorker,

Bloomberg acted fast after the most recent crane disaster: He held a closed-door meeting with construction industry insiders. He came out with a proposal that is a watered-down version of Jim Brennan’s proposals from 2007 and 2008. Yet nobody is standing up for the community groups who have been following DOB reform for years.

Until now.

That’s why I’m asking you to join us in promoting DOB reform and community input on the City Hall steps.

When:    Thursday June 12, Noon (Please email Raul to confirm time)

Where:    City Hall steps

Why:    To encourage the Mayor to incorporate community concerns in construction safety

Raul Rothblatt
Executive Director, Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance Foundation
Raul@JumbieRecords.com  / 718-857-3150

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Community support for DOB reform

In light of the Deutsche Bank building disaster and the two recent high-profile crane accidents, community activists and elected officials are coming together to demand reforms at the Department of Buildings. “Mayor Bloomberg’s recent proposals are a step in the right direction,” says Raul Rothblatt. “He is finally advocating for some of the reforms proposed last year—some of which he opposed. Now we urge him to work with community groups that have been advocating for DOB reform. Construction deaths are not limited to cranes, so it is important to address the bigger issues, and not just react to the news of the week.”

Dismayed at the steady stream of construction deaths and other accidents, dozens of these groups have been advocating for better enforcement of existing laws for years. The most pressing reforms include:

* Reinspect hazardous Stop Work Order sites. Currently, the DOB does not return to a construction site after every hazardous violation. Some offenders simply pay a fine, and the DOB does not check if the violation has been cured.

* End Self-Certification (a.k.a. “Professional Certification”). The crane disasters were not isolated events—they represent bigger problems with oversight of the construction industry. The Mayor needs to stand for safety all around New York, not just at high rise crane sites.

* Work with the community. After the most recent disaster, Bloomberg held a closed door meeting with construction industry insiders. The Mayor missed an opportunity to harness the expertise of community groups.

We cannot live in a city where everyone is afraid of every crane, bulldozer and jackhammer. This fear sometimes gets translated into a flood of 311 calls, but the City did not heed the warnings, with deadly results. Community groups can help sort out these complaints.

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