Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) was born in 1977 amid arson, abandonment, and economic crisis. We began from the simple idea that tenants could organize to exercise their legal rights, defend their homes, and preserve their neighborhood. It was also a powerful and expansive idea: people could organize building to block, from block to neighborhood, and from neighborhood to  city.

GOLES’ name reflects the hope that the struggle for legal rights and personal security can lead to a struggle for collective security,  and to the preservation of the diverse peoples, cultures, spaces, and institutions that, historically, have made the Lower East Side iconic for its rich cultural, artistic, and political life.