Roberta is an acclaimed urbanist who has published three previous books on the subject, including most recently The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs. Her writing has also appeared in the Nation, New York Times Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal. She previously served on the NYC Landmark Preservation Commission and currently sits on the Sustainability Advisory Board for NYC. She splits her time between New York City and New Orleans.
By the way, my friends were the ones that had the sign with these words up at their place in MidCity; it was not graffiti as termed by the photographer of the original image. Instead it was carefully written on the back of an election sign for Marlin Gusman and situated on the most prominent corner of their building, with the aim to urge neighbors to stay and the powerful to be warned. I got back to town to first clean out my apartment on October 9, 2005, sickened and broken-hearted by what I was seeing on my way in from the airport. When I got to my place (across the street from theirs) I saw their sign and laughed out loud and thought to myself, “Oh we’re going to be okay.”