Daily Archives: 01/22/2013

Affordable Housing

madrid plaza santa anna(Community Matters) This is super, a push in NYC for thoughtful design of properties offering smaller foot prints in a way to achieve greater affordability.

Years ago sitting around a Madrid plaza with new acquaintances, they explained to me how the plazas and other public spaces are where they and their friends met since everyone had such tiny apartments. Not only is it good for affordability but for community building too.

I’d be even more excited about a new affordable housing bond initiative if I knew it was also driving this sort of innovation.

Politico Playbook: “New York City extols virtues of tiny apartments,” by AP’s Ula Ilnytzky: “With the population and rents expected to keep climbing, New York City planners are challenging architects to design ways to make it tolerable – even comfortable – to live in dwellings from 350 square feet to as small as 250 square feet. The city wants to incorporate those designs into an apartment complex to be built on Manhattan’s east side next year featuring mostly ‘micro units.’ The aim is to offer more such tiny apartments throughout the city as affordable options for the young singles, cash-poor and empty nesters who are increasingly edged out of the nation’s most expensive real-estate market. If the pilot program is successful, New York could ultimately overturn a requirement established in 1987 that all new apartments be at least 400 square feet. … San Francisco recently approved construction of apartments as small as 220 square feet. And Tokyo and Hong Kong have long offered tiny units.

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Henry Munoz

henry munoz(Community Matters) Very pleased to see my friend Henry is being named national DNC Finance Chair. With Andy reupping for Treasurer, that’s two in the top finance roles for the party.

EXCLUSIVE – ONE OF OBAMA’S FIRST APPOINTMENTS IN TERM II : Henry R. Muñoz III of San Antonio — an Obama bundler and a national chairman of the Futuro Fund, a group of Latino leaders who raised money for the president’s reelection — is expected to be named DNC Finance Chair, the first Latino to hold the title: “He is Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Kell Muñoz Architects, Inc., the largest minority-owned architectural firm in Texas. … Muñoz has designed prolific architectural works in the United States/Mexico Border Region for 15 years; he has shaped the skylines of Texas and is an original and innovative leader in the pursuit of a blended cultural expression through the built environment.”

More on Obama’s Inauguration Speech

(Community Matters) I too thought the President’s inauguration address was an inspiring, bold and a defining speech. When the other side is being held hostage by extremist views which aren’t even rational, you don’t compromise and negotiate to the middle – too bad, moderate & conservative perspectives are important.

“Obama . . . . announcing his progressive intentions for a second term: to defend the aims of the entitlement state, to take on climate-change deniers, to promote gay rights and equal pay for women, to extract the country from ‘perpetual war’ and instead refashion America’s reputation at home and overseas as a ‘source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice.” – JOHN F. HARRIS and JONATHAN MARTIN

David Remnick describes the speech well too . . .

DAVID REMNICK, editor of The New Yorker : “Obama’s speech was infinitely better, more self-assured, more politically precise than his first. This was Barack Obama without apology — a liberal emboldened by political victory and a desire to enter the history books with a progressive agenda. … Gone is the primacy of compromise, which marked Obama’s days as president of the Harvard Law Review and even his first years in office. He no longer seems determined to transcend ideology or partisanship; experience has led him toward an engagement with politics in a tougher, clearer way. … There were countless touchstones of this clear liberal agenda: the association of the 1969 Stonewall demonstrations with the 1965 black-freedom march in Selma and the 1848 women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York …

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