Advocates for Justice Newsletter – 2011.10.01





The A4J Leader

          Vol. 1  No. 2   October 1, 2011

         (c) Advocates for Justice

                 Public Interest Law Firm


Dear Fellow Advocates,

Chris Owens Headshot
Chris Owens,
Executive Director
Welcome to the second issue of the A4J Leader.

As we embrace the Fall season, I want to wish a wonderful New Year to all of our friends who celebrate the Jewish high holy days.

Yes, the next few months will be filled with changes, holidays, revelry, love … and benefit events for non-profit organizations!  That is why I want you to join Advocates for Justice in honoring outstanding New Yorkers at our 1st Annual Fall Awards Reception – Friday, November 4, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm.


For fighting for our gallant first responders and communities victimized during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, we salute John Feal, founder of the FealGood Foundation, and the LIN SING ASSOCIATION in Chinatown.

For standing with our public school children against bad education policies and the exclusion of parent voices, we salute Patrick Sullivan, Manhattan’s representative on the Panel for Education Policy, and IS 303 parent activists Julia Daniely, Marylou Consolo and Eliot Wofse, along with high school student activist Priscilla Consolo.

For her vigilant and enduring effort to keep local government working for the residents of Lower Manhattan, we salute Julie Menin, Chair of Community Planning Board 1.

For its incredible work addressing environmental challenges in Northern Manhattan, we salute WE ACT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE under the leadership of Hon. Peggy Shepard.

For the power of their voices as new leaders fighting for public sector workers, we salute Anthony Wells, the new President of Local 371, District Council 37, and Santos Crespo, President of Local 372, District Council 37.

So please join us for a wonderful event that will leave you time to go out and party on a Friday night.  You can have your name or your organization’s name included on our invitation, on our website, in our newsletters and in our journal.  Just click here and select the appropriate package, or give me a call directly at 212-285-1400.

For $2,500 (including the name listings and 10 tickets to the event), you can be a Drum Major for Justice.  For $1,000 (4 tickets), you will be a Champion of Righteousness.  For $500 (2 tickets), you are the People’s Advocate.  And for $250 (1 ticket), you can be a member of the Justice League.  Regular tickets are $100 each, and we are offering a 20% discount for groups of 40 or more.

Thank you for taking a moment to read our newsletter.  As always, I hope you find it informative and helpful.

Also In This Issue…
Advocates for Justice in Court
Bi-Weekly Zadroga Intake In Chinatown
Would You Like To Work WIth Advocates for Justice?

Advocates for Justice In Court
Education Issues Are Hot; Free Speech is
Protected; St. Vincent’s Hospital Case Continues  



Parents fighting charter school co-locations in two Brooklyn schools were heard in state Supreme Court court by Judge Paul Feinman on Thursday, September 15th.

The highlight of the day was the commencement of the parent lawsuit against the NYC Department of Education regarding $1 rent for co-located charter schools.  Lawyers for several charter schools were also responding to the lawsuit.  At one point, a charter school attorney stated that parents have no standing in contractual matters between the charter schools and the NYCDOE.

IS 303K and MS 002K are having charter schools co-located within their buildings.  Appeals to the NY State Education Commissioner were unsuccessful.  Opponents of these two Article 78 cases argued that the case should include the State Commissioner as a Respondent and, therefore, heard in Albany.




On August 25, attorney Arthur Z. Schwartz won a victory for free speech in the workplace when Civil Service Technical Guild member Mitchell Feder won a long-running Board of Collective Bargaining case against the New York City Housing Authority over his use of his work computer and Internet for union business.  Schwartz and Feder, a former union Chapter President, successfully argued that NYCHA officials had unfairly cracked down on him and wrongly sought his firing (the BCB ruling, however, did uphold the HA’s disciplinary action against Mr. Feder for two improper e-mails.)





The Chelsea and Greenwich Village Communities continue to struggle to cope with the loss of St. Vincent’s Hospital, the only hospital with a Level 1 Trauma Center on the West Side south of 59th Street.  


From the outset, efforts to keep St. Vincent’s open were stymied by the Hospital’s decision to file for bankruptcy. Advocates for Justice, however, at the request of the Fulton Houses Tenants Association and its President, Miguel Acevedo, filed suit challenging the failure of the State of New York to replace St. Vincent’s.  The lawsuit relies on two sections of the Bill of Rights of the New York State Constitution, one which guarantees care for the needy, and the other which guarantees health care for all New Yorkers.     

The lawsuit has now been argued three times in State Supreme Court, most recently on September 16. At that hearing, Supreme Court Justice Paul Wooten stated that he might hold a hearing to determine whether the State’s efforts to date have met Constitutional muster.  St. Vincent’s Hospital is being replaced by a “stand alone emergency room” with only two beds.  New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, representing the State, has argued that funding for this project meets the State’s Constitutional obligations.  


Fulton Houses is a New York City Housing Authority complex.  Together, Fulton Houses and Chelsea Elliot Houses (several blocks to the north) contain one of the largest concentrations of poor people in Manhattan. Both housing developments were in the primary service area of St. Vincent’s Hospital.  

For more information, read the blog @ .  

9/11 Victims Seek Zadroga Help

The Lin Sing Association in Chinatown has started to host a bi-weekly intake clinic with Advocates for Justice for Chinatown residents or workers who were injured either on September 11th or between 9/11 and May 30, 2002.  At stake is possible eligibility for medical monitoring and/or compensation due to the Zadroga Act.

In addition to the helpful staff at the Lin Sing Association, Advocates for Justice has been assisted by Ms. Diana Her, who has provided English-Chinese translations and intake work, and will also utilize the talents of Ms. Yvonne Ng in this role.

Mandarin-speaking or Cantonese-speaking individuals wishing to contact Advocates for Justice should call (646) 543-9102 to schedule an intake appointment or ask questions. 




Arthur Schwartz Headshot
Arthur Z. Schwartz, Esq.
Board President



A Message from   

Arthur Schwartz 


Happy Fall!

I hope you will join me at our First Fall Awards Reception on Friday, November 4th from 6 pm to 8:30 pm.  The event will take place at the UFT Building, 52 Broadway, on the 2nd Floor.

Our honorees that evening include individuals and organizations who, through their work, exemplify the commitment to advocacy that we hold dear.

We have set a goal of $50,000 for this event and we are counting on your support to make that happen.  Tickets are only $100 (or less for groups), and we would love to have a great turnout.

I look forward to seeing you on November 4th, if not before.


Would you like to work with Advocates for Justice?


Advocates for Justice is looking for Project Attorneys to work pro bono on cases and we are looking for Project Associates, Development Associate and Community Associate interns to work on other projects as well.   


If you are interested or you know someone who may be, check out our website and send an email with the subject line “VOLUNTEER” to 

Advocates for Justice

225 Broadway, Suite 1902

New York, NY  10007

212-285-1400 x 2 

Thank You To Our Supporters

Advocates for Justice wishes to thank those individuals and organizations that have provided support for our work at the level of $200 or more.

The Consolo Family


William P. Kelly, Esq.


Richard Kenny, Esq.


The Malakoff Family Fund – The Pittsburgh Foundation  


Parents of IS 303 (Brooklyn)

Stuart Salles, Esq.


Arthur Z. Schwartz, Esq.




Nicholas Gaus has been admitted to the New York State Bar.

A graduate of Hofstra University School of Law and St. Francis College, Mr. Gaus has interned with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office and the NYPD.  He has also worked with several community organizations and helped to create a not-for-profit organization.

With Advocates for Justice, Mr. Gaus is the lead attorney on Zadroga claim preparations and selected other cases.

Congratulations, Nicholas Gaus, Esq.!




November 4

6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

UFT Building,  

52 Broadway, NY, NY


1st Annual  

Fall Awards


Get listed on our invitation and in our event journal. 



Purchase a ticket package today!


Advocates for Justice | 275 Seventh Avenue | Suite 1760 | New York | NY | 10001-8407