September 11, 2013
The Work Continues

Well, last night certainly wasn’t the result we had hoped for. And it is fair to say we were also disappointed with some of the tactics used, and big money spent in the race.   

But what I most want to express to you is my deep gratitude for your support, and to say thank you for all you have done to strengthen democracy. 

Thank you for standing with me, thank you for using your words and ideas to build community, and thank you for your vote yesterday. 

We will continue the work to reform our government process so that it is open, honest and transparent.   

I wish Corey Johnson the very best as he continues in the process to become our next City Councilmember. I know that he has pledged to work with us to restore hospital services for the community.  I look forward to working with him on this and many other issues. 

And to all of you, I am proud and honored to have worked with you to make the 3rd City Council District the best it can be and look forward to continuing our work to build our community. 

In solidarity,


September 4, 2013


September 3, 2013
Playing Dirty

[New York] If you’ve seen the new false attacks on Yetta Kurland, you have seen evidence of the biggest problem in politics today.

Special interests can funnel big money through independent expenditures to unfairly beat up on their opponents.

I have spent my life fighting for good government, and fighting against the big-money groups that undermine democracy. It’s one reason I support Yetta Kurland for City Council—she believes in cleaning up government and cleaning up campaigns. But after Citizen’s United, it’s getting worse.

Two years ago, one group here in the city fought to replace St. Vincent’s hospital with more luxury housing.

Yetta stood up for her community—for more hospital service.

Now that anti-hospital group is attacking Yetta with false mailers. And they don’t even put their own name on the mailers. They call themselves Fighting for Our Future PAC.

They’re not fighting for OUR future. They’re fighting against Yetta Kurland because she had the courage to stand up and say ‘no’ to replacing a beloved community hospital with luxury condominiums.

Don’t fall for it. The false attacks are just political payback, pure and simple.

Bill Samuels, Chair
New Roosevelt

August 30, 2013
Yetta continues to shine in NY1 Debate

[New York]: Progressive Change and Campaign Committee Writes:

In last night’s televised debate, civil rights attorney and progressive superstar Yetta Kurland made the case for putting public interests over the private profits of New York’s well-heeled real estate insiders.

As working families watch the cost of living reach unsustainable levels, fat-cat developers are laughing their way to the bank — building luxury condos over community resources like hospitals.

Yetta knows this issue all too well.  Watch her talk about it here and then sign up to volunteer!


Yetta has spent her entire career fighting for the community. Now, in the final few weeks of the election, it’s time for us to to fight for her. 

Can you volunteer to help Yetta win her race and make sure that the voice of NYC residents are heard over the voice of developers?  Click here to sign up!

Yetta is running on the West Side of Manhattan, and she proved last night that she really knows her stuff when it comes to the issues that affect the district. It’s that knowledge and passion that made us so proud to endorse Yetta Kurland for City Council.

Thanks for being a bold progressive,

— Kayla Wingbermuehle, PCCC Elections team


August 26, 2013

Opponent Ties Himself in Knots Over Contradictions on Real Estate Connections, Term Limits

((New York)) - Civil Rights attorney Yetta Kurland won the Council District Three debate tonight against real estate executive Corey Johnson, held at the Bow Tie Cinemas on 23rd Street. While the candidates found large areas of agreement on issues about city parkland, the need to create affordable housing and the need for a full service hospital on the lower West Side, Johnson struggled to explain his ties to the real estate industry.

At one point, when asked why he tried to have his work at GFI removed from a local community center’s website, Johnson admitted that he worked at the billion-dollar real estate firm GFI Development Company. He then immediately contradicted himself, exclaiming, “It is not true that I am tied to real estate. It is simply not true.”

Having sunk to this Orwellian depth of contradiction, Johnson later confirmed his job title and job duties at GFI, the luxury real estate company which paid him. “Director of Government Affairs? Yes. I did community outreach to elected officials.”

Johnson also struggled with his support of Mike Bloomberg’s third term, claiming that he did not endorse Bloomberg for his third term, while admitting, “There was an organization of LGBT people who supported the Mayor, and [they] listed me in it, but I wasn’t particularly active in it in any way… I did support the Mayor for a third term.” Johnson explained that he supported Bloomberg because he had promised to work on winning Republican votes for Marriage Equality, naming Senator Martin Golden as a particular target. When Marriage Equality passed the New York State Senate on June 24, 2011, Golden voted no. 

YETTA KURLAND is a civil rights attorney and small business owner who has lived in Chelsea and the West Village for over two decades. As an attorney, she has gone to court to protect tenants from unfair eviction, and fought for equal treatment for women in the workplace. She has won important victories in the struggle for gay rights as a founding member of the board of Marriage Equality New York, as well as having won a court decision to allow same-sex couples to change their last names. She also represented community members fighting the closure of St. Vincent ‘s Hospital and organized The Coalition for a New Village Hospital. She is running for Council to be a voice for ordinary neighborhood residents whose voices are often ignored by the powerful.

Yetta graduated summa cum laude from SUNY Buffalo in 1990 with a B.A. in Women’s Studies. She went on to receive an M.A. in US-Asian Studies and a Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School in 1997. 

August 18, 2013
Yetta Kurland: A Proud Thespian

If you care about independent theater in New York, the 3rd City Council District is the place to be. We have the Off Broadway community, the small theaters of Chelsea, the West Village and everything in between.  No one represents them better than the League of Independent Theaters. Representing the interests of over 50,000 artists here in NYC, the League works hard for the interests of artists and the small business owners that keep these theaters going. That is why I am proud to have their endorsement, and as someone that comes from a family of artists, I am committed to working for the issues that matter to artists. 

This is what John Clancy, Executive Director of the League, had to say about our campaign: 

"The League of Independent Theater is delighted to endorse Yetta Kurland in her run for New York City Council in the 3rd District. Yetta not only gets it, she’s a tireless and proven fighter for it, and in this critical district, home to more theaters than anywhere in the City, the arts community will have no greater advocate than Yetta."

Please take a look at this short clip from the League’s Forum from our district:

Members of the League are joining us for nightly phonebanks, will you join along with them?

I am also excited to annonce the endorsement of the 504 Democratic Club. For thirty years they have been working for the rights of disabled New Yorkers. And as the next City Councilmember from the 3rd District, I will help champion that work.

But we can’t do that without your help. Join us for our nightly phonebanking, from 5pm - 9pm by emailing or calling us at 646.801.8190 now.

With just three weeks and counting, your support is needed more than ever. 



August 12, 2013


 ( Chelsea , New York ) —-   Yetta Kurland, civil rights attorney and candidate for New York City Council in the 3rd District, today called on her opponent, real estate executive Corey Johnson, “to put your money where your mouth is” regarding his repeated demands that Kurland sign a pledge against Independent Expenditures.  Johnson, who for months criticized campaign spending by outside groups, has been silent now that his campaign is receiving support from the independent expenditure known as Empire State PAC.  


This is not the first time Johnson has had trouble telling the truth.  Even after he worked for several years as the Director of Government Affairs at the GFI Development Company, Johnson worked to hide his ties to the Wall Street giant. Earlier this summer, the story broke that Johnson had spent most of the past five years working to develop luxury hotels and condominiums, while simultaneously pretending to be a champion of affordable housing. 


"New Yorkers deserve honesty" said Kurland. "My opponent’s work for a billion-dollar Wall Street real estate developer is not the issue, so much as his sneaky attempt to hide it. And now we learn that after he spent months demanding that I live up to his example and disavow independent expenditures, Corey Johnson is benefiting from the money of those outside groups.  The hypocrisy and dishonesty has got to stop."

August 5, 2013
BREAKING: Fernando Ferrer and Ydanis Rodriguez Back Yetta Kurland for City Council

Chelsea, New York. August 5, 2013 — Yetta Kurland, Civil Rights attorney and candidate for City Council, announced the endorsements of Fernando Ferrer, former Bronx Borough President and City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez today. At a rally in the Elliot Chelsea housing in the 3rd City Council District, Ferrer cited Kurland’s strong advocacy for ordinary New Yorkers as the impetus for his endorsement. Councilmember Rodriguez spoke of Kurland’s long record of accomplishments and her ability to work with members of City Council to advocate for her community.

"The wealthy and powerful will always have a seat at the table in the City of New York ," said Ferrer.  "What impresses me about Yetta Kurland is her ability to stand up and speak out for ordinary New Yorkers who get left out in the cold. Whether you talk about same-sex marriage, equal pay for women, paid sick leave, or ending the stop-and-frisk policy, Yetta has been there, showing leadership, intelligence and compassion. And while some people talk, Yetta organizes and gets things done. We need more like her."

"Yetta has a long record of accomplishments in her community, but she is also well known outside of her community for building bridges and working with others," said Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez. "Yetta will get things done at City Hall without compromising her principles.  I have worked closely with Yetta over the years, and I look forward to having her in City Council. There is no one better to represent the great residents of District 3."

"I am thrilled to win the support of both these leaders, who are gentlemen in an age where many politicians are not. Fernando Ferrer has been a powerful voice for affordable housing, economic justice and common sense on City Council, in the Bronx Borough President’s office, at the Drum Major Institute and at the Campaign for Fiscal Equity,” said Kurland. “And Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez has been a role model for me when it comes to being a progressive reformer working from inside, and bringing a bottom-up leadership to the City Council.  It would be an honor to work with alongside him and serve my community.”

Ferrer served on the City Council from 1982 to 1987 and as Bronx Borough President from 1987 to 2001. Over that time, he created housing for more than 60,000 families. The Bronx experienced a significant drop in crime and improved in business and investment under his leadership. In 2005, Ferrer became the first Latino to win the Democratic nomination for Mayor. He also served as president of the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, a progressive think tank dedicated to economic and social justice; as a board member for the Campaign for Fiscal Equity; and as acting chair of the board of the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Ydanis Rodriguez was born in the Dominican Republic , emigrated to New York , and was elected to the City Council in 2009. He chairs the Higher Education Committee.  Rodriguez has drawn notice for his refusal to accept “lulus,” or cash stipends doled out by the Council leaders. He has prioritized his legislative work in education and affordable housing.  



July 30, 2013
SURVEY: Who’s your mayoral pick?


Check out the results from our survey last week on composting. Then, click here to take part in this week’s #TeamYetta Neighborhood Survey on who you think should be our next Mayor.

Thanks to all who took our survey on composting, here’s what we found:

Nearly 80% of those who responded agree that upgrading NYC’s waste management to be more sustainable and environmentally responsible is incredibly important. Furthermore, 75% have heard of NYC’s plan for composting and out of those, nearly two-thirds think favorably of it, while most others are still unsure.

In regard to our current waste program, 60% of respondents think NYC has “somewhat” of an effective plan to handle waste, while 28% think that we can do better.

As far as composting, only 24% of our respondents do so currently, but 40% would like to.

As in our last survey, our respondents have been great in offering their opinions and advice on how we all can be better stewards of our environment. The majority of the comments mentioned recycling, though others went further, including helping clean litter off the street and participating in co-op composting programs.

When it came to what NYC’s government can do for us, ideas became more varied. Some suggestions include placing curbside composting bins and providing educational materials about composting, stricter enforcement of recycling laws, increasing bottle deposit fees to fund more recycling programs and banning plastic bags.

Keep letting us know your thoughts and ideas and please participate in this week’s #TeamYetta Neighborhood Survey.  The topic? NYC’s next Mayor!


July 22, 2013
Here’s the REAL story on New Yorkers and CitiBike…

Check out the results from our survey last week on Citibike. Then, click here to take part in this week’s #TeamYetta Neighborhood Survey on Composting.

Citibike and YOU! Here’s what we found:

Under 13% of those taking the survey had actually used Citibike.  Of those who used it, 90% said it was good or even excellent.  21% had “no opinion” about Citibike, and over 34% either “disliked” Citibike or “hated” it

Many people sited positive benefits of Citibike such as increased health, better cross-town mobility, convenience, and reduction of carbon emissions - all fantastic benefits.  However, over 37% could think of “nothing” positive about Citibikes.

The most amusing response to this question was: “…cars are frankly less of a problem than people leaping out from between parked cars like suicidal deer in the hinterlands.”

The biggest gripes for folks regarding Citibikes was the lack of helmets, the corporate logo and branding, and the “high handed intrusion of these racks on neighborhood streets” – all very reasonable complaints.

Finally, people offered some really great ideas to make Citibike better.  Some of the best?  1) Provide classes on City riding as well as handouts, not just laws and rules, but strategies to make it safe for yourself and others, 2) Get rid of corporate logo, and 3) Move them in front of Citibanks rather than in front of small businesses and residences.

One idea I had is to require all Citibike riders to punch into the terminal when they pick up their bike that they agree to wear a helmet, that they understand and will obey all traffic rules and then be shown a couple of safety tips.

Keep letting us know your thoughts and ideas and please participate in this week’s #TeamYetta Neighborhood Survey.  The topic?  Composting in NYC!


#TeamYetta Neighborhood Survey - This Week -  July 22: Composting