Again tonight, there was another meeting regarding the rezoning of Sunset Park's Waterfront. The first part of the meeting was filled with loads of praise for Industry City: Kumbayahs, and statements that made you think of Rodney King: "can we all JUST get along?".
And then, as time went on, the working class and immigrant community stepped forward to say what the rezoning will do for them. It's called DISPLACEMENT!
Yes, there was talk about what Industry City looked like before Jamestown came in. The hookers and drug dealers are gone, but that's what usually happens when Capitalists invest their money in depressed neighborhoods. We can talk about that another time.
72% of Sunset Park is made up of immigrants, mostly Chinese and Hispanic. Many of them are working two and three jobs to live in Sunset Park, and this rezoning will not make their lives any better. You hear a discussion about jobs; jobs that most of the immigrants will not get. The people that are in a secure place in their lives make it seem so easy, while the people struggling know better.
It is not that the people want to stop growth; they want to be able to afford to live in Sunset Park to enjoy the growth.
Councilman Menchaca is the Chairman of the Immigration Committee, and his offering to residents the legal services that the city provides to prevent eviction is not what they expect from him. Also, the Councilman's desire to bring in the Mayor to help with Housing will only exacerbate the situation more. We need low-income Housing in Sunset Park, not high-end developers. The Councilman has a difficult decision to make; many of the immigrant people look up to him, so there is only one decision he can make. Say No!
Let's listen to Jei Fong from Protect Sunset Park talk about the things that the people want.