Sunset Park, Brooklyn, has been fighting against the rezoning of Industry City, for 4 years, and today, Councilman Carlos Menchaca, stood outside City Hall with the residents to say no to the rezoning. Meanwhile, Speaker Corey Johnson is eager to pass the rezoning.
Recently, we have seen citizen struggles in Puerto Rico, Paris, Hong Kong, and Britain over the actions of governments overstepping the boundaries of government rule. In this country, we struggle against Unwanted Wars, Affordable Housing, Homelessness, and Climate Change issues and more. These have been mainly capitalist struggles, where the rich are forcing officials to change regulations in exchange for goodies, like schools, parks, and fancy urban centers. All of it is helping to create more and more gentrification that pushes low and middle-class people from their homes.
We have yet to take to the streets like those mentioned above, but that might not be for long. Last night, I witnessed residents of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, shout down City Councilman, Carlos Menchaca, and force him out of a meeting he was presenting on rezoning. Menchaca was explaining his position on rezoning Sunset Park's Industry City when people started to chant no rezoning, no compromise, over and over again. After more than an hour of repeated interruptions, the councilman put the mic down and left.
Like so many other communities, Sunset Park is facing a rezoning that will significantly impact the large immigrant community. 72% of Sunset Park is made up of immigrants from Latin, and Asian countries. And this rezoning will entitle Industry City to changes that will impact all of the low and middle-class residents, as it has in many other communities. So these residents are fighting back.
Here is the entire meeting plus a rally outside:
Have you ever considered how you might feel if you were ever evicted from your home?
Well, on January 18, of this year 27 Chinese immigrant families living at 85 Bowery, here in New York City where told by the Department of Buildings they had to leave immediately. And within 2 hours all of those families were suddenly homeless. Some of the residents were as old as 82, and others were school-age children left to live in a shelter.
Prior to the eviction, the tenants had won a court case against the landlord securing rent stabilization for their apartments. And then shortly after, the Department of Building made the decision that the building was not safe. A staircase needed repair, but to do that the residents had to leave.
The residents were promised that they would only be out of their apartments for two weeks. Unfortunately, the work order that was needed to begin repairs, was not applied for until 2 days before the promised return date. So now, the delays began. After weeks of delays to repair the staircase, it was then discovered that asbestos had been found in the building. Not surprising since most old buildings in New York City used asbestos to insulate its pipes.
Again there would be further delays in returning to their homes. In New York City, and I would think in most places, landlords use harassment and lack of repairs to get people out of the building, so new tenants would be charged a higher rent.
During the period mentioned above and after many demonstrations the tenants were moved from shelters to a hotel in Chinatown.
The frustration the tenants felt from the lack of assistance from the Housing Preservation Department led them to hold a hunger strike. It was now February, and as I said above, some of these tenants were in their 80s; but still strong and very determined. They sat outside the Housing Preservation Department, at 100 Gold Street in the coldest period of the winter. I myself caught the flu just being there with them in solidarity.
The media showed up from time-to-time and occasionally a politician looking for good press too. Aid was sort from the mayor's office but all the tenants got was lip service from the deBlasio administration.
Black activist jailed for his Facebook posts speaks out about secret FBI surveillance. We can't have secret laws. This is not the Soviet Union! We have free speech in this country. (The Guardian) https://bit.ly/2jSvLvk
Sunset Park Will Never be the Same!
New plans have been disclosed by bklyner.com today for three residential towers to rise at 8th Avenue and 62nd in Sunset Park across the street from another newly planned complex reported last week. Nothing has been reported yet from Community Board 7, or from City Councilman, Carlos Menchaca. (bklyner) https://bklyner.com/sunset-park-mega-development/
Bernie Sanders led the way for current elections.
In 2016, Bernie Sanders began what has turned out to be a wave for candidates running in 2018 elections. Many candidates running for office this year are following Bernie Sanders decision to not accept donations from corporations, unions or PACS ...(NY Times) https://nyti.ms/2Ms2844
What Has Happened to Our Way of Life?
So many, year after year face considerable hardship just trying to stay ahead of the bills. Each year lines at shelters grow, more people living in the street or people living in their cars. Teachers in Calfornia are having to live further away from schools because they can not afford to live closer. What is going on here? And how are we going to fix it?
Every day we read about how wealthy the rich are becoming and how the rest of us are losing the battle. Capitalism apparently, is not for everyone. Where have all the unions gone. The unions that made us strong have ridden off into the sunset. What happened? https://bit.ly/2Bhqk4P
New York City is Playing Monopoly with Your Lives!
Last week, the City Council approved the rezoning of Inwood and again, no one listened to the requests of the people. Just like Harlem, Jerome Avenue, the Brooklyn Armory and Chinatown's Extel Building no one from the city listened to the people's cries. Neighborhood after neighborhood is being rezoned from under the residents. And no longer can we ask, "Who Owns the City?", we know who owns the city, it's the developers and city officials.
When Mayor de Blasio was elected he proposed his Housing Plan. It was applauded for being a great Progressive idea, but in reality, it was setting up the city for developers and began to push the low and middle-income people out of New York. Read this opinion from the (Daily News) https://nydn.us/2Mur1Zx
Does de Blasio have another option for NYCHA?
While the city still has to deal with 62,000 homeless every day, NYCHA and its 600,000 residents carry a heavy burden for the Mayor. With cuts looming from the federal government and maneuvering the lies from NYCHA management about adhering to federal laws, the mayor must find money to better manage NYCHA. This week he did a 180 on plans to build in Hell's Kitchen. A plan that had promised 100% affordable apartments, now may turn into 75% market rate apartments. Considering the building cost of managing NYCHA should we give the mayor a pass on this deal? https://nydn.us/2M8MVo5
The Big Sleep Out to Help the Homeless
On August 20th, Covenant House with volunteers from Broadway, film and the Television industry will have a sleep out to help end homelessness in New York. If you are part of the entertainment industry, please come out to help. To register to join: https://bit.ly/2MfjCkO
Brooklyn is Not for Sale
In its constant struggle to save Brooklyn from developers, the Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network is preparing for its annual march. Here below is an email we have received from them. Please join to stop the gentrification of Brooklyn.
September 15th, 2018 - The Brooklyn March Against Gentrification, Racism, and Police Violence March
Sponsored by The Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network (BAN) #BKMarch2018 #BANGentrification #TakeBackOurCommunities
We are seeking your endorsement for the #BKMarch2018 against Racism, Gentrification and Police Violence.
We are marching from #Flatbush to #SunsetPark this year
Here are the RALLY SPOTS for #BKMarch2018
1. Flatbush !!! Start at Parkside Avenue subway stop at 11 am
2. Brooklyn Botanic Garden
3. Barclays Center
4. NYCHA Wyckoff Gardens
5. Old Stone House and Washington Park
6. Sunset Park at 4:30 pm
To have your community group, anti-police brutality group or family, place of worship, small business, tenant organization, etc. endorse the Brooklyn-wide March against Racism, Gentrification & Police Brutality"
Contact :Call/text (646) 820 -6039 https://www.facebook.com/events/1924041477656474/