Summer 2017 Newsletter: July All-Member Meeting


Join us at the next the Quarterly All-Member Meeting, at the Brooklyn Public Library!

REGISTRATION IS LIVE for our next All-Member Meeting, with a community land access workshop from 596 Acres! It’s on Tuesday, July 25 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at Central Library (Brooklyn Public Library) (10 Grand Army Plaza) in the Information Commons. It’s great for: people and groups planning new community spaces, seeking stable work and cultural space, organizing to preserve existing ones, or interested in supporting grassroots real estate development! Find more more information and RSVP at!

At the meeting, we will be hosting a community land access workshop presented by one of our founding partner organizations, 596 Acres. Co-op members will begin by presenting a short play about how we work. 596 Acres will follow with a presentation helping us discover pathways to transform vacant lots and buildings into stable community places. 596 Acres, NYC’s community land access advocacy organization, will guide us in interactive learning activities, and will share community land access success stories.

We will hear from potential project partners, about projects that people are already organizing across NYC and that we might vote to invest in! We will connect with these potential project partners to support the next steps in their planning.  Show up and share with us your creativity and passion, and get your project idea into our Possibilities project bank!​


Steering Committee/Founding Board Report                                                                                                        

Shape our future Board: Join our Nominations Committee!

Board elections are coming up in September 2017! Your Founding Board (formerly your Steering Committee) will appoint a Nominations Committee to select candidates. Are you interested? Here’s what you will do:

  • Recruit, vet and recommend candidates to run for the Board
  • Prepare the list of candidates (the ballot) and share that list with all members at least ten (10) business days before the September voting meeting
  • Count the votes!

Please email or call (718) 316-6092 ext.5 if you are interested. Thanks for all you do!

Why are we doing this? Like many co-ops, we elect representatives from among our members to coordinate and facilitate our activities, and to make sure all that is needed gets done. As we will explain in more detail in the forthcoming Summer Edition of the Newsletter, we are entering a new phase in our development, and to graduate from having a Steering Committee (elected in January 2016) to electing the First Board of Directors!

Why do we need a Board of Directors? As a real estate investment cooperative, our mission is to legally pool our money and resources to help small businesses and community groups purchase commercial real estate property and ensure that these properties remain permanently affordable. We ensure the permanent affordability of these properties by putting the land under them into public stewardship arrangements: we put people, not developers, in charge of land. A lot of coordination is needed to accomplish our mission, and electing a small group of us to take the lead on this time-consuming work helps us accomplish our goals. Think of it as circular accountability: our Board keeps us accountable to our goals, and we keep the Board accountable to the membership!

What is the difference between the Steering Committee and this new Board of Directors? The Steering Committee has a limited mandate. You elected us to establish the basic infrastructure of the cooperative’s business. We have incorporated a not-for-profit corporation to house our decision-making and administrative activities, and we have just about finished the planning and paperwork work necessary to legally pool our money.

The Board of Directors will replace the Steering Committee and will have a broader mandate. It will have general authority to lead the business, administrative and managerial work of the cooperative, including management of the pools of money we raise to invest in New York City. However, the Board does not lead us; it represents us. Important decisions, such as approval of projects, must be decided by the entire membership.

Other Steering Committee/Founding Board News: Founding Board members, Todd and Adele are taking part in CEANYC’s Cooperative Board of Directors Training – with huge thanks to CEANYC for offering us a partial scholarship – and we will adapt that training for our own incoming Board this fall.


The renewed Outreach Working Group will relaunch at the upcoming July All-Member Meeting. You may also join us through the old mailing list: nycreic–

You may also contact Adele: and/or K:

The former PBIG: Public Buildings Inventory Group/CORB seeks new members with great community organizing skills. We are looking for those who can help us build our community engagement model 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. We are looking for professional community organizers who might “train the trainers.”

We are also looking for members who can help with translation, where necessary – whether from Spanish, Chinese, Russian, or other languages. We agreed in our May 7 break-out discussion that we should always come prepared with interpreters!

Possibilities WG: Project Inventory Management                                                                                                   

The Possibilities WG has been meeting at Prime Produce and organizing our spreadsheet of current potential projects, as well as developing an intake and vetting process for new potential projects, with a “Suggest a Project!” form on our website to receive ideas from members of the public. Prime Produce is at 424 West 54th Street between 9th and 10th Aves in Hell’s Kitchen.

Join us! Plug in with Dan ( or David (

Educational & Social Programming                                                                                                                              

 The Educational & Social Programming Committee organized a picnic in Prospect Park this past June! Old and new members alike joined for an afternoon of sunshine, food, frisbee, and thoughtful conversation.  The Working Group has more plans for social and educational events for the REIC later this summer! If you’d like to join us, please contact: or John Guzek:

Stay tuned to our Event Calendar for our next open meetings! Contact us at and by voicemail at (718) 316-6092 ext. 5.


Communications / Art & Media Update                                                                                                                       

NYC REIC New Graphic Identity

We launched our new graphic identity at the May 7 meeting, and this is our first full newsletter to incorporate the design. We owe huge thanks to Roy Rub, Seth Labenz and the Topos Graphics team for their pro bono work! Thanks to Caroline Woolard for getting them on board!

Do you have strong feelings about the new look? Suggestions? Compliments? Let us know about them! Contact us at and by voicemail at (718) 316-6092 ext. 5.

Are you a video editor who cares about affordable space? Do you want to help us by editing footage of NYCREIC members, shot by The Laura Flanders Show, down to a few 30 second clips each for 10 members? If so, please email with subject heading “NYCREIC editor” and share any links to your editing / video work.

Grievance Committee Update

Please join us, contact us at: