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Testimony at the RBA CIAB Bronx Hearing – Harold DeRienzo

From the testimony of Harold DeRienzo

RBA CIAB Bronx Hearing

Bronx Borough Hall

Thursday, February 12, 2015

My name is Harry DeRienzo.  I am the President and CEO of Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association, Inc. in the South Bronx.  I am also Vice President of the Association of Housing and Neighborhood Development and General Counsel to a group, the Parodneck Foundation, that provides mortgage counseling and mortgage foreclosure assistance to homeowners.… Read more...

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Our Legacy – Our Future

Speech given by Harry DeRienzo at Banana Kelly’s 5th Annual Meet & Greet, December 5th 2014.

Community Development, as we know it, is at a crossroads. When our work began some 40 years ago, the “inner city” was in crisis and residents came together to respond to the crises of terrible housing conditions, no and low paying jobs, disinvestment, arson, crime and more. … Read more...

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Good Society – Creating What Cannot Be Created — A Reply

By Harold DeRienzo

My friend Dr. Sahd maintains that a “Good Society” cannot be created.  And then goes on to explain how society is created.  What is to be made of this?  If men create societies through willful cooperation and interaction, why is it beyond their collective capacity to create a good society, meaning a society that works as effectively as possible with benefits to the greatest number?… Read more...

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The Good Society

By Harlod DeRienzo

What is society? How do we judge how effective or just or good a society is?  When we think of society, we think of all the myriad ways in which we associate with one another.  Such associations are defined by fleeting associations and informal conventions (such as riding on public transport and offering a seat to the elderly or handicapped) or longer-term and formal associations (such as membership on a sports team that competes against other teams) or permanent associations, such as family. … Read more...

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The Profit Motive and the Home

By Eric Goldfischer

In a recent conversation with a manager of distressed assets for a highly profitable group, I was told (in appropriately condescending tone) that “the only reason we buy buildings is to make money.” As an afterthought, he added something to the effect of, “Of course we want to create a nice place to live, but…” The end of the sentence trailed off into nothingness, leaving no doubt of exactly how little value it held for the owners and managers of the property.… Read more...

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Defining Challenge of Our Time?

Brian Sahd

I do not know anyone who is in favor of poverty – no liberal, no conservative, no tea party member or left wing radical. All of us, I truly believe, agree that poverty is something to be eradicated. The divisive issue surrounding poverty is the how: How do we create an economic environment that supports growth of income so that no one (and not just those of us in the United States, but across the globe) lives in poverty.… Read more...

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The Classless Society

By Harold DeRienzo

Growing up in the 1950s, I was conditioned to believe that we lived in a classless society.  This conditioning took place at home, in school, at church, and was constantly reinforced by the media.  That certainly did not mean that classes did not exist, only that there were no supposed barriers preventing citizens with ambition and a strong work ethic from entering the middle class. … Read more...