Fox 5: Neighbors Protest Manhattan Skyscraper

Watch the video here!

Jessica Formoso, for Fox News: Two years ago the supermarket Pathmark closed down. Last year the development company Extell came in and is constructing what will be an 80-story luxury skyscraper at a site in Lower Manhattan. Now residents are outraged and are telling the city to stop the construction because they soon will be displaced.

Holding up signs, people living near the site are complaining about health problems, cracked walls in their apartments, and a sinking street, which they say are being caused by the construction.

The community feels they are being ignored. The department of buildings website shows the site was issued a partial stop work order and has two violations.

Daily News: Protestors Slam de Blasio Rezoning Proposal

The people’s mayor is quickly losing the people’s support on the Lower East Side.

That was the message delivered to Mayor de Blasio at Gracie Mansion on Wednesday by a group of more than 100 angry, sign-wielding people protesting proposed neighborhood rezoning.

The predominately Asian, Latino and black demonstrators organized by the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side carried signs that read “No more poor doors!” and “Mayor, we elected you!” (more…)

NMASS People First Fundraising Campaign

Our People First Campaign is uniting community members, workers and community groups across the Lower East Side, Chinatown and around the city to stop the displacement of our low-income community of color. Now, as our anti-displacement organizing takes off around the city, NMASS members, friends and allies have launched the NMASS People First Fundraising Campaign. We’re raising funds to pay for:

  • Meeting space on the Lower East Side.
  • Printing of fliers, newsletters, posters and other educational materials.
  • Permits for public rallies and marches.
  • The NMASS Organizers Training Program, which offers a small stipend to a community member who commits to learning and organizing through the People First Campaign.

Thanks to the generous efforts of our crowdfunding campaign leaders, including Anne Kochman, Kiran Chaudhuri, Tosh Anderson, Victoria Londin, Patrick Ammerman, Jack Hospedales, Tom Powers and Hoon Kim, the NMASS People First Fundraising Campaign has already raised close to $3,000!  With your help, we can reach out goal of $25,000 in 20 days. Please visit our fundraising website, check out the campaign video made by NMASS member Beini Huang, and make a donation today.

 

NMASS Members Fighting Displacement

Our People First Campaign has been growing city-wide. On December 5th, 700 community members gathered at a historic town hall meeting at the Seward Park High School on Grand Street. They were joined by District Leader Jennifer Rajkumar and Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez. Mayor de Blasio sent a representative to ask the community to “compromise” on our rezoning plan, a request that was met with outrage–“how can we compromise on equality?”, exclaimed one community member.
Hot on the heels of the town hall meeting, NMASS, together with other Coalition toProtect Chinatown and the Lower East Side members reached out to communities and organizations around the city who are mobilizing against Mayor de Blasio’s plans torezone and destroy communities throughout NYC. Together, we held a city-wide rally against displacement at Gracie Mansion on December 16th. Afterwards, community groups from around the city were inspired to join the fight against displacement and for community controlled rezoning and we’ve been holding regular pickets at Gracie Mansion–last week’s was hosted by the South Bronx Community Congress.

Town Hall Meeting: December 5th

Invitation to Mayor de Blasio:  Meet with the Community and Answer Our Demands

Saturday, December 5th at 4pm to 6pm

Seward Park High School

350 Grand Street between Ludlow and Essex

Twice this fall over 1,000 people marched from Chinatown and the Lower East Side to City Hall demanding Mayor de Blasio take a stand against racism and displacement, and pass the Chinatown Working Group Rezoning Plan. The Mayor responded saying he would send a representative on his behalf, but he did not. He has time to travel to Puerto Rico, Italy and Israel, but he can’t take time to meet with people in his own city?!

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Bowery Boogie: Lower East Side and Chinatown, Rise Up!

Read our Op-Ed in the Bowery Boogie: “For the last few weeks, the Lower East Side has been buzzing with news of a new era. Many different sectors of the community have been coming out to support the adoption of a community rezoning plan. Hundreds of Latino, African American, Chinese and white residents, workers, students and business owners have taken hours out of their busy days to go door-to-door or stand on the street and distribute flyers, posters and petitions in opposition to discriminatory zoning, high rents and displacement, and in support of the Chinatown Working Group (CWG) rezoning plan that will protect the entire Chinatown and Lower East Side area in Community District 3. Historically, Chinatown has been pitted against the Lower East Side, using racism to divide us and keep us fighting for crumbs. Now, many people see why we need to march together on City Hall, and are eager to participate.”

Read the whole article >>

 

October 28th: March Against Displacement

When New York City adopted the major East Village Rezoning in 2008, Chinatown and the Lower East Side were intentionally excluded. The wealthier white residents of the East Village got height restrictions and zoning protections for their neighborhood, while high-rise, luxury development was pushed into our community. Now the NYC Department of City Planning refuses to pass the Chinatown Working Group rezoning plan, saying it’s too “far-fetched” to give Chinatown and Lower East Side equal protection to the East Village. Will Mayor de Blasio follow Bloomberg’s racist legacy by selling out our community to luxury developers?

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Chinatown and LES unite in march against displacement, demand mayor de blasio protect entire community

On Friday, residents, workers, local business owners, students and concerned community members-including children and elderly-of the Lower East Side and Chinatown rallied at the site of the controversial 80-story luxury tower being built by Extell. Hundreds of community members and supporters protested the building of a luxury building in their backyard and demanding Mayor de Blasio adopt the Chinatown Working Group plan to protect the Chinatown and Lower East Side.

For years, the Lower East Side and Chinatown have been left wide open and vulnerable to luxury towers. Meanwhile the wealthier, white East Village has been afforded protection through a rezoning which capped building height limits. The Chinatown Working Group worked for 7 years on a rezoning plan that preserves existing low-income housing in area, as well as protect the communities from future luxury development. In 2012, 10,000 residents signed petitions in support of this plan.  Coalition members and community members are outraged that the Department of City Planning recently turned down this plan.

In recent years, rents have skyrocketed, evictions are rampant, luxury buildings and hotels are replacing long-time affordable homes and businesses, schools are severely underfunded, and the entire community is being pushed out.

Shuifan Cheng, a resident of 85 Bowery, spoke to the realities residents are currently facing in the area- “I have been living in this building for 17 years. My landlord in 2013 bought 11 buildings on Bowery Street. We asked the landlord to come repair the building. Not only did he refuse to repair the building, he started to evict us. Right now, not only the 83-85 Bowery Street tenants are being evicted, the entire Chinatown is facing displacement and eviction. I know people who live on Henry Street and Madison

Street are being displaced. Everywhere, people are being displaced and evicted. The small shops that we go to are closing one after another…This is our community. It is Chinese people’s community, Latinos’ community, Black people’s community. We will not move out.”

Meanwhile, Tanya Castro-Negron, President of the Lands End 2 Resident Association spoke to the loss of funds to the community, particularly the schools. “Back in the early 80’s and 90’s [our] schools … were successful … Our schools were also successful because of the wonderful programs provided for our children that engaged all families, funded by the property taxes that were paid for by private developers. Today we have lost all programs and are on the brink of losing our public schools entirely due to lack of funding. The 421a tax abatement provides a free ride for luxury real estate developers on the backs of the poor communities, stripping and robbing our children of a rewarding education.”

David Tieu, of the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side said, “The 80-story Extell tower is the clearest example of why our community needs a rezoning plan now. For almost 7 years, the Lower East Side and Chinatown have united to create the Chinatown Working Group rezoning plan to protect its residents, workers, and small businesses from displacement. Thousands of people have been involved and support this plan. This is why we say it is undemocratic and racist that City Planning rejected the plan. We demand that de Blasio do the right thing- stop Extell, end the 421a, and pass the Chinatown Working Group plan now.” Protesters also vowed to return if their demands were not met.

Other speakers at the rally included Jenifer Rajkumar, district leader; Louise Velez, National Mobilization Against Sweatshops; Norma Ramirez, Action by the Lower East Side; and Victor Li, student representative.

Sept. 25th : March Against Displacement!

  • Have we had enough of high rents?
  • Enough of tall luxury condos, subsidized with tax-payer $$, jacking up property taxes?
  • Enough of seeing our favorite stores like Pathmark shut down?
  • Enough of our school programs and senior centers being cut?

It’s time to march to City Hall to tell Mayor de Blasio that we’ve had enough of the racist Tale of Two Cities! It’s time to assert control over our community!
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