Neighborhood Chatter

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Compiled by Alissa Fleck 'Robokid' Takes On East Village East Village resident Jakob Kraus, 7, who has earned the moniker "Robokid," is a self-taught hip-hop dancer who practices the style known as "animation," according to his father. Now his videos, which can be viewed online, are on the brink of going viral. Jakob's father said his son was inspired by an Atlanta-based dance crew, Dragon House, according to the Daily News. He also avidly watches So You Think You Can Dance. Jakob has never taken professional dance classes and learns his moves from YouTube, reports the News. Margaret Chin and Elected Officials Condemn Romney/Ryan on Women's Rights New York City Councilmember Margaret Chin joined several New York elected officials in urging support for Barack Obama and decrying Romney and Ryan's policies on women. Chin called the GOP's policies on women's reproductive rights "antiquated" and "dangerous." Chin said Ryan's stances on women's rights "show a complete disregard for women and the fact that we, too, are full, independent human beings." Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney compiled a report on the "Top Ten Ways Romney and Ryan are Bad for American Women," for which Chin and other officials expressed their support. Public Theater at AstorPlace to Celebrate Revitalization The Public Theater at Astor Place will unveil and celebrate a $40 million revitalization this fall, and welcomes the public's enjoyment of the renovations. The celebration will include eight weeks of events, some of which will be free of charge. The revitalization aims to open the building up to the community, including welcoming artists and students more readily into its midst. The company hopes the rededication will spark renewed dialogue on the "important issues of the day." The official opening ceremony will be on Oct. 4 at 10 a.m. ACLU and NYCLUSupport Twitter's Appeal to Protect User Privacy The ACLU and NYCLU have filed a brief in support of an appeal by Twitter following a court order that it turn over an OWS demonstrator's Twitter account information to the Manhattan District Attorney's office. Malcolm Harris, the demonstrator targeted by the district attorney's office subpoena, and Twitter filed motions in court to avoid turning over several months of user information. Both motions were rejected, and both parties respectively appealed the decision. The NYCLU and ACLU argue Harris' First Amendment rights to free speech are being threatened by the case. Squadron Urges Politicians to Reveal if Bills Are Drafted by ALEC State Sen. Daniel Squadron is calling on politicians to disclose whether the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) helps draft the bills they introduce into legislation. ALEC is not currently registered as a lobby in New York, though it receives funding from corporate members. ALEC is instead currently registered as a charitable organization. According to a statement from Squadron's office: "[ALEC] hosts legislators at fully paid-for 'retreats' and issues 'legislative resolutions' to be submitted by legislator-members in statehouses around the country." Squadron insists it's only fair to disclose ALEC's role in drafting bills.

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