Earlier in 2008, a motel franchise owner - Mr. Salish Ghandi - secured a permit to construct a three story building to be used as a short stay Motel. Knowing Mr. Ghandi's past - that he was the owner of several short stay "hot sheets" motel franchise - Michael was sure that this type of business would increase crime around our schools: more homicides, drugs and prostitution. The Springfield Complex, which currently houses four high schools, is located right across the street from this site. In addition, Junior High School 231 and PS 251 are located within 200 and 300 yards, respectively of this site.

Michael spearheaded the fight against this "HOT SHEET MOTEL". On May 15, 2008, he organized a community meeting around this issue by bringing out the parents from the schools and civic associations as well as community activists and elected officials. At this meeting, Michael and the group decided to do what ever it takes to stop this motel. This group marched, protested, sent letters, and finally filed complaints to the Building Dept. which led to the hold-up of the construction process. Finally, on September 5, 2008, the Building Dept. issued a final stop work order to Mr. Ghandi.

Michael and the group continue to fight, as Mr. Ghandi has appealed to the Board of Standard and Appeals for an extension of time to build. On Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at the Board of Standard and Appeals on Rector Street in Manhattan, the community was able to withstand the onslaught of Mr. Gandhi and his lawyers. We cannot allow anyone to disparage and insult our neighborhood let alone build a business such as a short stay motel in walking proximity to two middle schools and a high school in our community. At that meeting, Michael Duncan came prepared with data and pictures and other activists as they were able to win against Mr. Ghandi and his designs for a short stay motel in our community next to our kids. We congratulate Michael on his well-earned and well-deserved victory. But the battle has just begun. Mr. Ghandi and his lawyers are regrouping and will be back at the Board of Standard and Appeals in February. Come out and support the community and its youth.

Candidatorial Requirements

The following are required to run and operate the 31st CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT:

  • Passion for The Community
  • Integrity and Accountability
  • Voice for Justice
  • Advocate for Working Families