Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side Invites Mayor de Blasio to Saturday’s Town Hall Meeting Against Displacement

Posted on: December 3rd, 2015 at 5:18 am by

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Extell’s controversial 80-story waterfront tower

Galvanized by the recent conviction of disgraced Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, a gaggle of grassroots groups under the umbrella of the Coaltion to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side is taking the fight to Gracie Mansion. The broad community-based coalition is hosting a town hall at Seward Park High School on Saturday to discuss neighborhood displacement and demand that City Hall endorse the Chinatown Working Group Rezoning Plan.

Organizers invited Mayor de Blasio “to attend, calling on him to end Silver’s corrupt legacy of protecting real estate interests over the people’s interests by endorsing a community-led  rezoning plan.”

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Here’s the rundown from the mailbag:

The conviction of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, found guilty for accepting kickbacks from real estate developers, has galvanized the Lower East Side and Chinatown community to demand fair and democratic representation. Hundreds of concerned residents, workers, students, small business owners, and supporters are expected to attend the Town Hall meeting to discuss the future of Chinatown and the Lower East Side.

We invite Mayor de Blasio to attend, calling on him to end Silver’s corrupt legacy of protecting real estate interests over the people’s interests by endorsing a community-led rezoning plan.

Twice this fall, over 1,000 marched on City Hall to demand passage of the Chinatown Working Group (CWG) Rezoning Plan. This plan was a collaboration of Community Boards 1, 2, 3, developers and over 50 community organizations, starting out as the City’s “separate but equal” solution for Chinatown and parts of the Lower East Side after being passed over in 2008 East Village Rezoning Plan that offered zoning protections to the wealthier parts of Manhattan’s Community District 3 while excluding the areas where people of color were the majority.

Mayor de Blasio’s failure to listen to the people and endorse the CWG plan has raised anger and mistrust in the community. Chinatown and Lower East Side is calling on Mayor de Blasio to face his constituents and tell them why their community-led rezoning plan has been disregarded while he pushes his city-wide developer-led rezoning plan that has overwhelming opposition by constituents, housing activists and community boards.

List of Coalition Members: 318 Restaurant Workers’ Union, Action by the Lower East Side, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Cabalito Restaurant, Chinese Staff & Workers Association, Delancey Car Service, District Leader Jenifer Rajkumar, District Leader Pedro Cardi, Harlem Consumer Education Council, LaGuardia Houses Tenant Patrol, Lands End 2 Resident Association, LES Dwellers, 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 Díaz-Cotto from SUNY-Binghamton, Take Back the Bronx, Take Back NYC.

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