SICK OF BEING LIED TO AND SOLD OUT BY CHIN & DE BLASIO?
LET’S DEMAND OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS TAKE ACTION TO PASS THE CWG REZONING PLAN!
No matter who is elected this fall, our community must join together and hold our City Council member accountable to us. Many of us in the Lower East Side and Chinatown are struggling. Right now we have a chance to protect our community—our homes, jobs, gardens—from being destroyed and taken over by high-rise condos and hotels.
The Chinatown Working Group Rezoning Plan was created by a coalition of 60 groups including Community Boards 1, 2, and 3 to protect the Lower East Side and Chinatown from displacement and over-development. All four City Council candidates in District 1 say they support the CWG Plan. Is any candidate willing to take on Mayor de Blasio and the developers to pass this community-led plan?
City Council Member Margaret Chin has worked with de Blasio for years to block the CWG Plan. If they had passed the CWG plan, which puts limits on the height of any development, none of the recent high luxury towers would have been able to be built. Our community would not be besieged by excessively tall luxury towers which put all of us at risk. Not the 80-story Extell mega-tower where Pathmark used to be. Not the proposed JDS, L & M and Starett towers also on the waterfront by Cherry Street. Not the proposed luxury building on La Guardia’s parking lot. Because of all this construction, property values have shot up, resulting in high rents, maintenance fees, and food prices in our community.
Now that elections are coming and Chin is up for re-election, she says she supports the CWG Plan. But what she is moving ahead with is only “sections” of the Plan. By doing so, Chin would protect just a tiny piece of Chinatown while leaving out the Latino, black and other communities of the LES. She’s saying: “no protection for you, maybe later.” Later means giving time for all the luxury high rises to go up, then it will be too late for us. No wonder the Real Estate Board gave so much money to Chin’s last campaign.
Chin, working together with GOLES, CAAAV, Urban Justice Center, and TUFF-LES, is also misleading the community about the waterfront development. Chin says that she is against the buildings. Yet for all these years, she refused to support the CWG plan, giving a green light for this high-rise development. Now she is pushing for ULURP, a city approval process that will not stop the construction of the buildings; but simply put Chin in a position to negotiate some crumbs like a few “affordable” housing units, instead of stopping these destructive developments altogether.
Chin refuses to take steps to stop the buildings on the waterfront even when the community had approached Chin’s office in May to take action. The Lower East Side Organized Neighbors (LESON) found legal grounds to stop the proposed development, discovering that the three proposed skyscraper projects –and probably Extell too—are in the Large Scale Residential Development district. For such huge constructions on the LSRD, an environmental study must be done and find that the cumulative impact of the proposed construction will not negatively impact the LES and Chinatown. This study must show that the new buildings won’t cast big shadows on NYCHA, that it won’t affect the air quality, that the sewage system will not be overburdened. A genuine study should be overseen by Federal and State agencies.
Margaret Chin has refused to make sure that this is done as required by the LSRD zoning regulations. Instead, she is distracting attention and dividing people by calling for a ULURP process that will allow the towers to go up. This would encourage massive development throughout our community. Even if we stop the towers on the waterfront, we need the CWG Rezoning plan to protect all of the LES and Chinatown from being destroyed by high rises and skyrocketing rents and prices.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Stop the construction of the megatowers on the waterfront of Cherry St.– sign on to the LESON demands for a genuine environmental study overseen by Federal and State agencies. Call on the Environmental Protection Agency to be on top of this.
- Come together to get the CWG Plan passed– help make and distribute new educational material to inform our community about what the plan will do.
- Help plan our Citywide Rally Against Displacement at City Hall on September 8to demand that de Blasio step down because he is working with Chin and others around the city to sell us out to luxury development.
- Meet to plan and find out more onWednesday, August 30, 6 p.m. at NMASS at 345 Grand Street. Call us at 212-358-0295 or check out our website www.nmass.org.