ON WEDNESDAY, August 23rd Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer joined tenants, community leaders, elected officials and concerned members of the community to rally against Nazi and Confederate posters, the listing of infamous Nazis Rudolf Hess and Josef Mengele as residents on the building directory, and offensive images in a Sunnyside condominium lobby and to call for an investigation of the property manager and apparent sole condominium board member after tenants reported constant intimidation, harassment, and illegal activities.

“Today we rallied against a property manager who has created a house of horrors for the owners and renters in this Sunnyside condominium,” said Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “These tenants are living in terror. After seeing this lobby first-hand and spending several days with these tenants, I can say without a doubt that they are rightly terrified of a property manager who posts images of hate and racism, boasts of guns in his apartment while hanging posters celebrating guns and the NRA, and who retaliates against anyone who speaks out. There is nothing patriotic about having the names of infamous Nazis in the building directory or having a large swastika above an apartment door. There are clear illegalities and violations inside this building that extend far beyond the offensive and hate-filled messages posted in the lobby and throughout the condominium common areas. I have asked the de Blasio administration, the NYPD, and the Attorney General of New York to investigate this property manager and condominium board member and deliver justice for the tenants of this condominium who are living in terror. Hate has no home in Sunnyside, in Queens, or in our city.”

“We are disgusted by the flagrant public display of racist, anti-Semitic imagery in the lobby of this Queens condominium,” said Michael S. Miller, Executive Vice President and CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. “The Jewish community, together with its diverse allies, will not tolerate the offensive and frightening glorification of Nazism and Nazi war criminals, especially as our nation faces threats from white supremacists.”

“New Yorkers must be able to feel safe and welcome in their homes free of hostility and intimidation,” said ADL New York Regional Director Evan R. Bernstein. “Adorning an apartment building lobby with such imagery sends a disturbing message of intimidation to tenants, potential tenants and the community at large. Our communities, homes and neighborhoods should be inclusive and welcoming – not plastered with instantly recognizable symbols of racism or hate which only threaten to intimidate and isolate.”

At the rally, condominium owner Lynn Calvacca described in detail nearly a decade of harassment and intimidation by Neil Milano, the property manager and condominium board member. Majority Leader Van Bramer was joined at the rally against hate by State Senator Michael Gianaris, Evan Bernstein, Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League of New York, Jerry Banberger, of the Sunnyside Jewish Center, Michael Nussbaum, board member of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, and Denise Keehan-Smith, Chair of Community Board 2.

Nearly the entire lobby of 47-55 39th Place in Sunnyside is covered with posters that pay tribute to the Confederacy and dictators like Hitler and Mussolini. There are unsettling images of guns, NRA posters, and tributes to President Trump that include phrases like “Build the Wall!” The building directory lists infamous Nazis Rudolf Hess and Josef Mengele as residents.


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