By: Levar Alonzo
October 25, 2017
A peaceful transition of power and an acknowledgement of past service distinguished the annual meeting of the London Terrace Tenants Association (LTTA), held Monday night at the Avenues: The World School (10th Ave., btw. W. 25th & 26th Sts).
LTTA outgoing president Andy Humm — a frequent contributor to our sister publication Gay City News and co-host of the long-running weekly LGBT news show Gay USA (gayusatv.org) — passed the baton to Inge Ivchenko, who got down to the business of presiding over her first meeting. Humm is not going away completely, as he will now serve as secretary for the association.
“The only thing that I regret and wish I could fight for more was the pool,” said Humm. “Unfortunately we are not getting the pool back.” Humm noted the association won a $165/month (per stabilized tenant) permanent rent reduction to compensate for the loss of the amenity.
Humm encouraged all tenants willing to commit the requisite time and effort to run for office and help fight for their neighbor’s rights. Offering a bit of good news, Humm expressed delight that Sept. 23’s London Terrace Street Fair made more of a profit than the annual event has in recent years.
State Senator Brad Hoylman joined the meeting to present Humm with a Proclamation that officially designated Oct. 23, 2017 as “Andy Humm Appreciation Day.”
Hoylman gave the award to Humm for all the work he has done in serving the LTTA and, by extension, the surrounding community. The Proclamation read, in part, “Humm has been a tenacious defender of tenants rights and the rights of New Yorkers.” The award came as a surprise to Humm, who noted that he often has to write things that are critical of politicians.
“I joined the association because there has to be a check on unlimited landlord power,” said Humm in a Facebook message posted late in the day on Oct. 23 (which began with a cheeky alert that there was “less than an hour to observe” Andy Humm Appreciation Day).
“None of us does this kind of work for recognition,” the posting noted. “I was actually shamed into joining the group by a past leader who I was offering criticism to back in ’91 without offering to “DO” anything… I saw his point: we’re all in this together and we all need to pitch in however we can. So, at least tonight a small group of Americans got to have a new president — something we all deeply desire.”
Other notable events at the LTTA meeting included a presentation by board member Mark Shulman, who announced the enhancement of an online building staff directory. The directory, which can be seen at LTTA.info, features the name, job title and photo of building staffers so residents can acknowledge who they are (and it helps with tipping during holiday time).
District 3 City Councilmember Corey Johnson was in attendance to announce that there are two proposed locations — W. 29th St. (btw. 11th & 12th Aves.) and W. 37th St. (btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.) — to move Emergency Medical Service 7 from its current location: under the High Line on W. 23rd St. (btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.). Johnson said that the developers of these two locations are very interested in making space for the EMS unit.
The NYFD placed the emergency medical unit under the High Line in response to the closing of St. Vincent’s Hospital and the need for medical service to Manhattan’s West Side. The Councilmember, since his days as chair of Community Board 4, has been looking to move the EMS station because of loud sirens, overcrowding, and emissions from its idling vehicles.
Gabriel Lewenstein from Public Advocate Letitia James’ office was at the meeting to announce that as of Oct. 31 there will be an official ban on job seekers being asked of their previous salary history at interviews.
“Let your neighbors and friends know that it will be now illegal to be asked of their previous job salary at their interviews,” he said. This is to protect and bring about more equality in the workforce for women and minorities, according to the public advocate staffer. James’ office also announced that all public schools would offer free school lunch for all students.
A presentation by Lieutenant Joe Delligatti of the FDNY offered safety tips to avoid fires and guidelines on protocols to observe during a fire. Delligatti said that he would that he would take an hour out his schedule to come and give residents an in-depth lecture on fire safety. The FDNY offers Fire Safety Materials on a wide range of topics. Safety publications are downloadable and printable at www1.nyc.gov/site/fdny/education/fire-and-life-safety/fire-safety-educational-publications.page.