Press Mentions

Featured Press Mention

Format: 2020-09-22
Format: 2020-09-22

The closed storefronts lining the Lefferts Boulevard bridge​ are now adorned with the work of nearly 60 Kew Gardens artists.

Lefferts Boulevard Bridge Transformed Into Outdoor Art Gallery
Maya Kaufman
July 14, 2020

Rahsaan Harris is CEO of the Citizens Committee for New York City, a nonprofit that aims to help New Yorkers — especially people in low-income areas — improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods. During his varied career in philanthropy — leading the Emma Bowen Foundation and Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, serving as a program officer at Atlantic Philanthropies, and writing his Ph.D. dissertation on Black philanthropy — Harris has confronted the nonprofit world's lack of diversity. "I know what it looks like," he says, "I've starred in that movie."

How to Tackle Race at Your Organization
Eden Stiffman
July 02, 2020

Of course, neighborhood associations are nothing new. But the current moment is a unique time to begin one.

How to Start a Neighborhood Association
Katherine Cusumano
June 11, 2020

How can you be an ally to the Black community? Citizens Committee for New York City CEO, Dr. Rahsaan Harris, explains on CBS New York how people can show genuine solidarity for racial justice

How to be an "ally" to the black community
CBS News
June 08, 2020

Eleven Manhattan small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic will receive $93,000 in relief money for rent, employee pay and more from a nonprofit grant program.

Family-owned Silom Thai in Chelsea will get $10,000 to help stay open after the restaurant offered free meals to health care workers. Enoch's Bike shop in Hell’s Kitchen will also get $10,000 to pay for new infrastructure for social distancing, better ventilation and sanitation.

Tutoring company BOK Solutions, which works with the city to provide public school students programing, will use a $10,000 grant to pay for their instructors’ and teachers’ wages after all in-person sessions were canceled, putting a big hole in the businesses’ income. Family-owned Garber Hardware will get a $10,000 grant after a sharp decrease in sales.

Consulting, design and development agency Van West Group – which creates campaigns for small and mid-sized businesses -- will get $10,000 to pay employees and rent and continue to help drive traffic to their clients.

Immigrant-owned Yours Spa on 18th Street will also get a $10,000 grant to help cover operating costs after coronavirus shut down the store, making them unable to pay bills, wages and rent.

Alfredo Ray Salon in Chelsea will get $8,500, will get $8,000, interior design firm Garcia / Maldonado will get $6,500 and Massage Beyond will get $5,000. Daniel Cooney Fine Art will use a $5,000 grant to create a new website so customers can still buy pieces online.

The West Side Small Business Grants were created to help struggling stores and organizations cover operating costs and other spending so they can stay in business despite declines in sales from coronavirus restrictions.

The grant program was launched by the West Side Community Fund in partnership with the Citizens Committee for New York City and was seeded by funding from Google.

Latest coronavirus updates: Click here for our roundup of the most important developments from NYC and around the world.

Manhattan small businesses get coronavirus relief from grants by West Side Community Fund
Anna Sanders
May 27, 2020

The COVID-19 precautions of sheltering in place and social distancing bring with them both the burdens of entropy and the opportunity for evolution. Either way, it’s not business as usual—and once we return to the days when sit-down trumps take-out, and browsing in a store is a viable choice to rival shopping with your browser, how many of our mom-and-pops will be there to open their doors?

Sadly, these valuable but vulnerable businesses—everything from restaurants to salons to food carts to retail shops—may be less eligible for federal stimulus loans that are keeping others afloat.

Seeking to correct that inequity and supplement other economic relief efforts, The West Side Small Business Grants (WSSBG) program was launched on April 23 of this year. Grant applications are now being accepted for “small businesses [of up to 10 employees] that have been economically hurt by COVID-19 and subsequent stay-at-home mandates,” noted a press release announcing the program. To access the application, click here.

“Nobody in our community has escaped the hardship brought on by this virus, which is why it’s vital that we work together to preserve our neighborhood,” said Michael Phillips, President of Jamestown and West Side Community Fund leader. “Today’s [April 23] announcement means essential money in the hands of small business leaders, so they can adapt their businesses or pay rents, insurance, employee wages and other costs.”

Citizens Committee for New York City (Citizens NYC), the press release further noted, will continue its longtime partnership with the West Side Community Fund (WSCF) by administering the grants, which will serve those in Chelsea, Hudson Yards, and Hell’s Kitchen.

Seeking further clarity regarding the fund’s scope and purpose, Chelsea Community News spoke with Scott Young, VP Development and Communications, Citizens NYC.

West Side Small Business Grants Program Offers Help to the Economically Hurt
Scott Stiffler
Chelsea Community News
May 01, 2020


More Press Mentions

NEW YORK – Hundreds of New Yorkers gathered at the Central Park Boathouse on Monday night for Citizens Committee for New York City’s annual Evening on the Lake. The more than $300,000 raised will support CCNYC in its mission to help New Yorkers come together and improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods through volunteer-led, grassroots projects.

This year’s honorees were Heather Lennox of Jones Day, William H. Henrich of Getzler Henrich & Associates, and CCNYC grantee Aleeia Abraham-Toussaint, founder of Prototype Music, which mentors and showcases youth musical talent in Southeast Queens. Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman, who represents the area served by Prototype Music, introduced Ms. Abraham-Toussaint and the performers to the crowd of almost 400 there to support CCNYC. Junior photographers from CCNYC grantee Hamilton Heights Darkroom were on hand to capture the evening on film as part of the nonprofit’s efforts to provide local students with hands-on photography experience. 


Press Release
September 11, 2019

HARLEM – Citizens Committee for New York City (CCNYC) and Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz gathered on Monday evening in Brust Park with members of resident-led community groups to highlight and celebrate their efforts to improve their corner of the Bronx. Citizens Committee CEO Peter H. Kostmayer and Assembly Member Dinowitz were joined by members of Stewards of Brust Park, Stewards of Henry Hudson Park and Coqui the Chef to learn more about their grassroots projects’ impact on the community and their efforts to bring their neighbors together towards a common goal. Each group has received small grants and planning assistance from CCNYC in recent years to support their community improvement projects.

“The strength of our community is in the power of the people who live here, working every day to make our neighborhoods a little bit better for everyone. I am proud to have numerous groups throughout my district who have amazing ideas for projects to accomplish just that. Thank you to Citizens Committee for their support of these incredible projects, and also to the people behind those projects who will turn grant money into tangible results for our community,” said Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz. 


Press Release
August 14, 2019
BROOKLYN – Citizens Committee for New York City (CCNYC) and Bank of America are thrilled to congratulate the members of P.L.A.N.T. (Preserving Lincoln's Abundant Natural Treasures) on being named winner of Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Greenest Block in Brooklyn 2019 award. P.L.A.N.T. is a CCNYC grantee whose members have worked incredibly hard to transform their block of Lincoln Place between Nostrand Avenue and New York Avenue into a beautiful and inspiring oasis of greenery in the middle of Crown Heights. Their efforts include installation and care of numerous immaculately- maintained tree beds, window boxes, and planters creatively fashioned out of old musical instruments, popcorn containers, grills, household appliances and other reused items. The group was presented with the honor at a celebration last week hosted by Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

“Our mission is to utilize the collective talents and gifts of our neighbors to build community. This year we saw this mission in motion as neighbors came together to create a wonderful work of art on our block, leading to this joyous accomplishment! Our block has become, in the words of passersby, an ‘oasis’, a ‘wonderful work of art’ and a ‘museum’. Thank you so much to all of the residents who pitched in, to Citizens Committee and Bank of America for their help and to Brooklyn Botanic Garden for honoring our work! This is just the beginning,” said Althea Joseph, Lincoln Place resident and member of P.L.A.N.T. 


Press Release
August 13, 2019