Town Hall Success: Chinatown and LES Energized Against Displacement, de Blasio Doesn’t Care

Posted on: December 7th, 2015 at 5:00 am by

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Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

The Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side achieved success with their weekend town hall on Saturday afternoon. It was an event planned 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.”

Approximately seven hundred people showed up to Seward Park High School, including Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez and District Leader Jenifer Rajkumar (65th Assembly District).

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez was applauded for her support of the CWG rezoning plan, saying “I support the Coalition to protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side. The local com-munity must have a voice in decisions that shape our neighborhoods and our day-to-day lives. We must stand against housing discrimination and work to bring under control rising rents in the Lower East Side and throughout our City.”

Rajkumar stated, “We stand in solidarity to save our neighborhood. We stand against the displacement of thousands of families on the Lower East Side. Through this Town Hall our community will come together to find solutions and a way forward.”

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District Leader Jenifer Rajkumar

One attendee sent along the following dispatch:

It was a tremendous turnout (700 ppl approx) and lots of energy. Lower East Side and Chinatown – the sections not part of the corrupt Chin and Silver machine – is mobilizing and energized.

Mayor de Blasio sent his liaison Tommy Lin, Director of Constituent Services Community Affairs Unit. He received an earful from very impassioned residents … he was unable to answer any questions in regards to what specifically is too ambitious and far-reaching about the zoning plan. Like City Planning no specifics as to what is wrong with the plan other than it is “too ambitious.”

He repeated City Planning’s vague proclamation, saying there needs to be a compromise. The response was for 7 years Chinatown and parts of the LES were forced to compromise and wait while zoning protections were given to other parts of the community. Told they would receive equal protection after EV was rezone but instead got luxury development, evictions, harassment, displacement, loss of businesses and services (i.e. grocery stores).

Will the mayor listen?

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