Petition for a Shulamith Firestone Memorial Feminist Apartment

OCTOBER 1, 2012

Because… The Feminist world, the Art world and the Lower East Side/East Village Community have just lost one of our great visionaries–Shulamith Firestone–a woman who was able to remain, work and survive in her/our neighborhood for many years because she paid a relatively low rent…

Because… the average rent being charged new renters in our neighborhood is $2,100., and had Shulamith tried to rent here today, it would have been impossible for her to find, live and work in an apartment she could afford…

Because… the Lower East Side/East Village environment is all the poorer for the loss, due to skyrocketing rents, of the kind of creative spirits that formerly gave the neighborhood its unique character–but who are now being priced out…

Because… Shulamith’s sister feminists, friends and admirers would like to memorialize her by making it possible for a feminist(s) coming after her to be able to live in this neighborhood and do feminist work here–such work usually being either unpaid or poorly paid, and therefore requiring an affordable rent…

Because… it is well within “fair housing practices” developed over decades for developers/owners of housing in formerly working class neighborhoods to create “set-asides” of affordable rental units for those who cannot pay market rates…

Therefore… We, the undersigned, do hereby Petition Robert Perl, owner of 213 East 10th Street, and do strongly urge him to work with us to create a “Shulamith Firestone Memorial Apartment” that would, in perpetuity, remain well below market rates and which rent would, at this time, not exceed $1,000. per month; this apartment would be reserved for a woman who is making an important contribution to the feminist movement that is not well remunerated.

Candidates for residence in such an apartment would be vetted by a committee of feminists drawn from the list below and would meet the same standards as any other tenant–with the exception of paying a lower-than-market-rate rent.

Signatures (list still in formation)

Kate Millett, Feminist, Author: Sexual Politics

Frances Goldin, Co-Founder Cooper Square Committee, Literary Agent for Mumia Abu Jamal

Carol Giardina, Professor of Hisory, Queens College, CUNY, Author: Freedom for Women

Kathie Sarachild, Director, Redstockings Women’s Liberation Archives for Action

Marisa Figuereido, President, Redstockings, Inc.

Ti-Grace Atkinson, radical feminist

Nellie Hester Bailey, Director, Harlem Tenants Council

Annette Averette, Co-Director, Sixth Street Community Center

Howard Brandstein, Co-Director, Sixth Street Community Center

Rosalyn Baxandall, Distinguished Professor, SUNY-Old Westbury

Fran Luck, Executive Producer, Joy of Resistance, Multicultural Feminist Radio @ WBAI 

Merle Hoffman, President, Choices Women’s Medical Center, Publisher, On The Issues Magazine

Erin Mahoney, National Women’s Liberation (NWL)

Allison Guttu, Organizer, NWL, Women of Color Caucus (NWL), Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

Amy Kesselman, Professor Emerita, SUNY-New Paltz

Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, Professor Emeriti, CaliforniaCalifornia State University

Ann Snitow, Network of East-West Women 

Jennifer Sunderland, Redstockings

Pete Dolack, Former Editor, New York State Green Party Newspaper

Marie-Claire Picher, Founder, Theater of the Oppressed Laboatory 

Nancy Kogel, MNN-TV Producer, Reaching Out for Animal Rights

Barbara R. Lee, Singer, Activist, Reverend Billy Church of Stop Shopping

Barrie Karp

Halina Bendkowski

Note: All affiliations are for identification purposes only and do not denote agreement by institutions/organizations mentioned.



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