The Coalition to Protect Chinatown and Lower East Side will march to City Hall in New York City on Friday, September 25, 2015 at 4 pm, in response to the NYC Department of City Planning’s (DCP) refusal to take action on the Chinatown Working Group rezoning plan. In an August 5 meeting with Coalition members, DCP said that the rezoning plan was too much to ask for and not feasible.
The Chinatown Working Group was initiated by the city in 2008 after the New York City Council passed Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s East Village rezoning plan, which protected the majority white areas of the neighborhood with strict height limits. This action drove new luxury development into the communities of color of Chinatown and the Lower East Side, which were deliberately left unprotected.
As a result, luxury condos and hotels have flooded into Chinatown and the Lower East Side. A stark example is Extell’s 72-story luxury tower at 250 South Street (a/k/a “One Manhattan Square”) with 802 market rate condo units, and a separate 14-story tower of “affordable units” for low-income tenants. Such luxury buildings have caused property taxes and rents to skyrocket throughout the neighborhood. At the same time, developers have received hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars through New York City’s 421-a tax abatement program, while low-income tenants are being harassed and pushed out of their homes. These resources could be used instead to fund public schools, senior centers, housing for low-income people, and social services.
On September 25, we call on New Yorkers to join the March Against Displacement, from 227 Cherry Street (the Extell development site) to City Hall, to hold the City accountable to the people and small businesses of Chinatown, the Lower East Side, and all neighborhoods across the city facing gentrification and displacement.
Stop the racist Extell development
End the 421-a tax giveaway
Pass the Chinatown Working Group community rezoning plan
Members of the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side (in formation) 318 Restaurant Workers Union, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Chinese Staff & Workers’ Association, District Leader Jenifer Rajkumar, District Leader Pedro Cardi, LaGuardia Houses Tenant Patrol, LandsEnd2 Resident Association, Lower East Side Anti-Displacement Project, Mujeres y Hombres Luchadoras, National Mobilization Against SweatShops, Orchard Street Block Association, Professor Peter Kwong from CUNY-Hunter, Project Reach, Sixth Street Community Center, Professor Juanita Diaz-Cotto from SUNY-Binghamton
Date: Friday, September 25, 2015
Departure location/time: 227 Cherry Street (old Pathmark site), 4 pm
For more information: AALDEF, 212.966.5932, firstname.lastname@example.org