April 8 MEMBER NEWSLETTER: All-member meeting on Thursday, April 28! NYCREIC’s 1-Year Anniversary!

Hello REIC Members!

It’s our quarterly All-Member Meeting, and our first birthday!

Our next All-Member Meeting will be held Thursday, April 28th, from 6:30-8:30pm at Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village. At this meeting, we will be hearing report-backs from our democratically-elected Steering Committee and from our four current workgroups (WGs), as we enter the second quarter of the year. We will also hear from the Community Economic Development Clinic of Fordham Law School, which is generously providing pro bono assistance to navigate challenging legal questions around incorporating and investing together. We will also hear about new committees in formation, and other ways in which you can become more involved in the process. Please RSVP for the event here, where you can also check for an updated agenda, and for other practical information.

The NYC REIC aims to make long-term, stabilizing, and transformative investments for the benefit of our member­-owners ​and our communities. If you haven’t joined yet, you can do so by coming early, between 6 and 6:30, or staying late, between 8:30 and 9.

Call: We are seeking members with expertise in Community Outreach and Community Organizing!

If you have expertise, or know someone with expertise in Community Outreach or Community Organizing, who may be willing to offer their time towards the aims of the REIC, please contact the former Public Buildings Inventory Group – PBIG, now the Community Outreach and Relationship Building WG, or CORB. Together with the former Case Studies WG, now REIC-U, we are looking for someone who can “train the trainers” and educate the membership in best practices in how to reach out to communities and work together with them, in a horizontal, democratic, grassroots way.

Read more in the WG report-backs below, and please contact us at: nycreic–public-buildings-inventory-group@googlegroups.com

Call: We are seeking members to join our new Grievance Committee!

The Grievance Committee needs you to help us keep the REIC members and leadership accountable. We are working to establish the message and procedures that all members can expect all other members to uphold. We can use help in two phases: 1) Over the next month, the GC will establish procedure for evaluating complaints from members. 2) As required, self-selected members to meet when an appeal is made by a member or members to the GC.

Help us formulate a system of accountability and reasonable expectations to help keep the REIC open to all!

Please contact member Sara Romanoski at: grievance@nycreic.com

Steering Committee Report

The Steering Committee met on March 12th, held a conference call meeting on March 20th, and at our monthly open meeting on March 29th. We facilitated the March 7th All-Workgroup Meeting Spring Kick-Off, where our four re-formed workgroups developed plans for the quarter, and where the Grievance Committee introduced itself and put out an open call to join.

All meeting minutes are linked to at the bottom of the Steering Committee webpage.

We are advancing our legal capacity. We signed an engagement letter with Fordham Law Clinic to provide pro bono legal services to the REIC, and we learned about laws affecting our work from students at Brooklyn Law School’s Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship (CUBE).

We made new relationships, speaking at the Occupy Alternative Banking group, giving a presentation and workshop at the Next System Project‘s NYC Conference, and learning about the Cooperative Economics Alliance of NYC (CEANYC – pronounced “scenic”), a cross-sectoral network of solidarity economic groups and co-ops, at our March 29th meeting from an REIC member on their Steering Committee.

We got back to the basics, approving this three-page description of the REIC (and turning it into a two-page PDF), updating our contact lists, reviewing our Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement with Spaceworks, making the Data Management Committee official, and launching a Communications Committee that updated nycreic.com.

We are working with members in REIC-U and Art & Media to archive previous REIC presentations, grant requests and other documents, to preserve our institutional history.

We will continue to define and launch other Committees, as we plan the upcoming All-Member Meeting on Thursday, April 28th – our first birthday! – and fulfill our Charter.

You can contact us at: steering@nycreic.com


Art and Media presents their work plan for the quarter at the March 7 All-Workgroup Meeting.

The Scoping Workgroup will spend the rest of the quarter transforming our preliminary criteria for NYC REIC investments into a rating system that we will propose the NYC REIC adopt for evaluating whether a project is one we want to finance, so that it can come into being. We have met twice since the last All-Workgroup Meeting. Join us next time: Sunday, April 17th at 2pm Join us next time: Sunday, April 17th at 2pm at 596 Acres, 540 President Street, 2E, Brooklyn NY 11215. Homework: transform the preliminary criteria into a rating scale (like this one or this one); we will compare them when we meet!

Please email nyc-reic-project-scoping@googlegroups.com to get involved.

Art & Media
We have applied for funding from Pluribusproject.org to make short videos to document and share the impact of unaffordable space on NYC, through portraits of REIC members who occupy or need affordable commerical space; to give an overview of land use policy, and the role of city and local agencies in NYC commercial space affordability; and, to demonstrate that a people-powered solution to affordability is not only possible, but already exists.

Information on any similar funding opportunities would be greatly appreciated. Contact Lise or Caroline at: nyc-reic-arts-and-media-list@googlegroups.com

Doron is continuing his work on the “Why did you join the REIC?” oral history archive. Please contact him here: shdoron1@gmail.com if you are willing to take part. The interview process is super rewarding and fun, so please do sign up!

Also PLEASE post to the REIC blog! Contact Leland at leland.cheuk@gmail.com to post on a topic specific to your workgroup or anything else related to the REIC.

Lastly, if you’re interested in helping with this newsletter, please contact newsletter@nycreic.com. We can always use good editors, and anyone handy with MailChimp.

The Art & Media working group has no meetings scheduled at this time.

After much discussion last quarter about the need to have an informed membership, and to rally community members in support of our mission, the Case Studies Workgroup branched off into the REIC-U Workgroup to address the educational needs of the REIC. At our first meeting on March 14th, we discussed approaching these needs from multiple angles, such as partnering with other cooperative organizations on film screenings and panel discussions, creating an official Wikipedia page, maintaining an up-to-date and centrally organized series of presentations and printed materials to educated new members on the status of the REIC, creating blog posts about other cooperative real estate ventures, and more. On March 21st, we discussed the film screenings in more detail, and we hope to have our first screening within the next month or two.

Our most recent meeting was on April 4th (kindly hosted by the Baxter Street NY Camera Club), in a joint meeting with CORB (formerly PBIG), to plan our collaboration on turning best practices for community outreach into strategies for attracting membership and investment to the REIC.

See more under CORB.

Please email nyc-reic-case-studies@googlegroups.com to get involved.

CORB: Community Outreach & Relationship Building
(formerly known as PBIG: Public Buildings Inventory Group)

Following the All-Workgroup meeting on March 7th, our first meeting this quarter was our joint meeting with REIC-U on April 4th, to plan our strategy and timetable for collaboration on how to get trained in best practices in community outreach – both to be able to put to use in the communities where we are currently looking at potential buildings and sites for investment, and also to educate the entire membership.

We are looking first within the membership of the REIC – and its network – to see if we can find people with expertise in Community Outreach and Community Organizing (see call at the top of the newsletter), who might offer to train some of us, who could then in turn train others. Please do let us know if you are possibly that person, or if you know someone who might be that person.

We would especially love to find people to do Community Outreach who are bilingual, especially in Spanish – though not required.

Meanwhile, we continue to do research into demographics and organizations in the main communities we have been focusing on until now: Jamaica and Coney Island, though we are also still looking at Bay Ridge, the South Bronx and East New York – and we may expand into other areas, if we find other potential buildings and sites.

We are also planning to make at least one or two PBIG/CORB “road-trips” together this spring, to look at potential sites.

We haven’t yet planned our next meeting, but you can always contact us at: nycreic–public-buildings-inventory-group@googlegroups.com to get involved.

Become a Member of NYC REIC
There are 4 requirements for active membership in NYC REIC:

(1) Reading and signing the member agreement;
(2) Contributing a membership fee of $10;
(3) Attending a quarterly All-Member NYC REIC meeting (next chance: July 2016!);
(4) Endeavoring to conduct membership in accordance with the principles of cooperation.

We maintain a Google Calendar with all workgroup meetings. Please add this to your gCal, or look at http://nycreic.com/meet to stay updated with our meeting times: https://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=audtb9vef3vbc7rt6jem0q0sss%40group.calendar.google.com&ctz=America%2FNew_York  

Please Help Cover our Current Operating Expenses!
You can support REIC’s development by making a charitable donation during this incubation period for very basic expenses, like the monthly charges that must be paid to circulate this e-newsletter. Please contact us at info@nycreic.com if you’d like to make a charitable contribution (not an investment) during the incubation period of the NYC REIC.

REIC Learn and Share
What the REIC? Check Out Our Video: http://nycreic.com/1-minute/

Please take a minute, literally, to check out this amazing video that NYC REIC members produced to explain the REIC in under 60 seconds, and share widely.

Stay Connected

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In Cooperation,
New York City Real Estate Investment Cooperative