New York's Wealthiest Households Are So, So Rich and So, So White

Image via Wikimedia Commons
740 Park Avenue (shown here under construction in 2008), the home of New York's richest resident, David Koch.
The income gap between New York's wealthiest and poorest citizens took center stage this last election, with now-mayor Bill de Blasio's "tale of two cities" mantra. Now, a newly released report from the City University of New York shows how far apart those two cities really are. The Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies, part of the CUNY Graduate Center, looked at how income inequality shifted between 1990 and 2010. The short answer: the poor, adjusting for inflation, got poorer and the rich got much, much richer.

"No shit," you respond, justifiably. But even the CUNY researchers were surprised by what they call the "extraordinary, and growing, concentration of wealth" in the hands of a very few. In 1990, the top one percent of New Yorkers had a median income of $452,415. In 2010, their median income was a cushy $716,625. In the same time period, the poorest ten percent of New Yorkers barely saw their incomes rise at all. The wealth concentration in white households also became "the most extreme in the City," they add, with 42 percent of white households earning more than $100,000 a year.

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City College Lifts Suspensions Against Two Student Protesters, But Criminal Charges Still Stand

Categories: CUNY, Protestors

Image via Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee
Khalil Vasquez, left, and Tafadar Sourov
There's been a weeks-long battle between City College of New York's (CCNY) administration and student protesters angry over the closure of the Morales-Shakur Center, a hub for left-leaning campus political activity. That battle cooled down slightly on November 22, when an attorney for two suspended students negotiated their return to campus for the spring semester. They are, however, still facing a battery of criminal charges that could land them in prison for up to a year.

Tafadar Sourov, 19, and Khalil Vasquez, 22, were suspended and barred from campus in late October, after participating in a rowdy protest in which two people were arrested. Campus police say the crowd damaged a door while trying to get into the North Academic Center (NAC), where the Morales-Shakur center used to be, and a police corporal reported that Sourov shoved her to the ground while inciting the other students to rush into the center.

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Two CCNY Students Charged With Rioting, Criminal Mischief, Harassment for Protests Over Closure of Morales-Shakur Center

Anna Merlan
Tafadar Sourov, in the striped t-shirt, stands next to Khalil Vasquez, tan jacket, and their attorneys, Mark Yu and Ron McGuire, outside the courthouse this morning.
Two City College of New York students have been criminally charged for their role in the protests against the closure of the Morales-Shakur Center, the school's hub of campus political activity. Tafadar Sourov, 19, and Khalil Vasquez, 22, have been suspended from CCNY since October 28, barred from campus, and prevented from registering for spring classes; late last week, they learned that they would also be facing charges in Manhattan criminal court.

The men surrendered themselves yesterday and spent last night in jail. This morning, they were arraigned and charged with two counts of criminal mischief in the fourth degree, one count of obstructing governmental administration in the second degree, one count of rioting, one count of inciting to riot, and harassment in the second degree, all misdemeanors. Sourov is also being charged with attempted assault in the third degree, another misdemeanor, for allegedly shoving a CCNY police officer to the ground. Both men face up to a year in prison.

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Two CCNY Students Suspended as Third Protest Over Closure of Morales-Shakur Center Begins [Updated]

Categories: CUNY, Protestors

Photo by CCNY student Aber Kawas
CCNY students protest outside a campus administrative building.

Update, 4:00 p.m.: It appears that CCNY's North Academic Center (NAC) has once again been placed on lockdown, with students unable to enter or leave. Protest group Liberate CUNY Front claims a student was roughed up and arrested by campus police as he tried to leave the building. More information as we have it.

Update, 5:01 p.m.: Liberate CUNY now says the student was not arrested, but detained, cited, and released. CCNY officials have not yet confirmed or denied the detainment. This video has quickly made the rounds; it appears to show campus police carrying a handcuffed man out of the NAC, into another building, and down an escalator.

On Twitter, CCNY responded directly to Liberate CUNY, denying that the lockdown had taken place: "CCNY, including NAC, have been open all day today." But other students tweeted about having to have class outside, only being able to get onto the campus through its Convent Avenue entrance, because the others were closed off, and one posted this photo, of barricades and police officers in front of several campus buildings.

Original item: Looks like the battle between the City College of New York administration and student protesters over the closure of the Guillermo Morales-Assata Shakur Center is still heating up. This morning, two students involved with the protests were abruptly suspended, just before a planned third demonstration on the lawn of an administrative building.

The MSCC, as the students refer to it, was a hub of campus political activity; it was converted into the "Careers and Professional Development Institute" on Sunday, October 22, with no warning given to the student body beforehand. The school has defended that decision, saying the room was simply "reallocated" to "provide additional services to students seeking assistance in transitioning from college to the workplace."

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Two Arrested During Protest Over Closure of CCNY's Morales-Shakur Center

Photo by Ian Scott Horst
Protesters and police clash outside the North Academic Center, where the Morales-Shakur center was housed.
A sit-in and protest at City College of New York turned confrontational on the afternoon of Thursday, October 24, when a protester was pepper-sprayed and arrested for endangering the welfare of a minor, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. A second protester was detained and cited for disorderly conduct.

The protest took place outside City College's recently closed Morales-Shakur Center, which CCNY abruptly converted into a "career center" on Sunday. The arrests ensued after protesters tried to force their way inside the North Academic Center (NAC), where the Morales-Shakur center used to be.

The pepper-sprayed arrestee is CCNY alumnus and activist David Suker. It's his second CCNY-related arrest of the week; Suker was arrested Sunday morning while sitting outside the center's doors and refusing to move. He attended Thursday's protest with his toddler son, who was left in the care of another protester after his arrest. A little while later, the police could be seen escorting both the child and the protester inside, away from the crowd.

- See also: Two CCNY Students Suspended as Third Protest Over Closure of Morales-Shakur Center Begins

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CUNY City College Students Protest After Morales-Shakur Center, Hub of Campus Political Activity, Is Abruptly Closed

Students protest outside the North Academic Center

Update, Thursday, October 24:A second demonstration has resulted in the arrests of two to three protesters. Read our report on those arrests here.

Original entry: A nearly 25-year-old campus community center at the City College of New York was abruptly closed Sunday night, leading to a large, furious protest by students and community groups. The Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur Community and Student Center, which is on the third floor of a campus building, was abruptly converted into a "career center" late that night, just before midterms began this week. All the Morales-Shakur Center's belongings were moved out and apparently thrown into storage, and the room and exterior doors, which were once red with a black fist, were both painted over.

A group calling itself Liberate CUNY Front quickly issued a press release, calling the closure "deceptive and dishonest, and indicative of a major lack of respect for the ability of students organizing." The press release also said that the campus went into "lockdown" on Sunday night and Monday morning, with students unable to enter or leave the campus, or get into the library, which is in an adjacent building. Meanwhile, CCNY issued its own press release, saying the room had been "reallocated," to provide a space for "students involved in experiential learning."

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CUNY Moves David Petraeus's Seminar to a Secure Location, but Students Plan to Continue Their Protests

Categories: CUNY, The Military

Photo Credit: isafmedia via Compfight cc
Yesterday a series of e-mails were obtained by Gawker in which the CUNY administration discusses its intention to move David Petraeus's seminar to the 16th floor of West 57th Street due to security concerns. Though administrators posted the notice of the location change on the website a week ago, those announcements made no mention of the heightened security measures or the lockout of all other meetings using the 16th floor. Student protesters are aware of the impending move and are formulating a new protest strategy at the new location.

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Six CUNY Students Were Arrested for Protesting David Petraeus's Appointment [VIDEO]

Categories: CUNY

Screencap via YouTube
Six CUNY Students were arraigned last week on charges of resisting arrest during a peaceful protest against David Petraeus's teaching appointment at the college. A YouTube video of the arrest surfaced late in the week, showing NYPD officers brutalizing the protesting students. The violence in the video--at one point you see an already subdued 25-year-old Luis Henriquez being punched in the back--has energized CUNY faculty enough to demand Petraeus's resignation.

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The CUNY Administration Labels Students' Behavior "Harassment" and "Abusive Behavior"

Categories: CUNY

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Looks like administrators at CUNY are teeny bit embarrassed by the display of some its students heckling David Petraeus as he was walking off campus. Ann Kirschner, Dean of Macaulay Honors College of CUNY, circulated a statement yesterday labelling the behavior of the students "harassment" and "abusive behavior".

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10 Class Title Suggestions for David Petraeus, Who Will Be Teaching at CUNY

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This week, City University of New York announced that it would be bringing on an exciting new staff member: former CIA Director David Petraeus, who has been named "Visiting Professor of Public Policy" and will start in August.

But what exactly will Petraeus be teaching? Public policy is a pretty broad topic. With respect for what Dr. Petraeus has done to serve our country, but also it being a late Wednesday afternoon, the Village Voice editorial team has brainstormed some class title suggestions.

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