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