The Art of NYC Mutual Aid
Statement of Support for Councilwoman Jordan
All signs indicate we are fast approaching fascism in the United States. Continuing huge transfers of wealth to the 1% from both Republican and Democratic administrations while they shove more money into the mouths of fossil fuel companies, war profiteers, military and militarized police departments has created massive economic and racial inequality.
Here in New York City the NYPD is an occupying militarized force engaged in systemic police brutality in Black low income-communities. New York City spends about $11 billion per year on direct NYPD expenses while the NYPD is expected to spend approximately $700 million for capital projects in FY22. The size of the NYPD’s annual expense budget has grown by $1.2 billion from 2013 to 2020. This figure far exceeds the amounts going toward health care, housing, parks, libraries, public education and senior services. Thus, all of these critical services have been defunded in Black and Brown neighborhoods at the expense of expanding the NYPD, who have shown us time and time again they don’t care about Black lives and have no business handling mental health crises or helping the homeless. The city’s budget reflects where the city council and mayor’s priorities lie and right now they clearly lie in the NYPD. There is no grey area here, the message is clear.
No wonder not one of our city council members are coming to the defense of Kristin Richardson Jordan, who is being attacked for simply believing that another world is possible. NOT ONE MORE BLOCK condemns all violence, including the violence inflicted on the officers that were tragically killed recently in Harlem, and fully supports Kristin and her vision of a city that does not rely on an ineffective carceral system that seems to always have money for militarized police and new jails but nothing for the things NYC communities need to live.
It is irresponsible and sick for the right wing news media (New York Post, Fox News) as well as elected officials to use these two NYPD officers death as a weapon for more violent policing. NOT ONE MORE BLOCK agrees with Kristin when she says: “I mourn the loss of literally all human life.”
Another Dangerous Pandemic Move For NYC Homeless
On Friday January 7, 2022, the New York City Department of Homeless Services will be again moving houseless people from a hotel in Manhattan to a hotel in Queens during a raging pandemic endangering their lives. This is irresponsible and incredibly dangerous considering the transmissibility of Omicron, the latest mutation of Covid-19.
A resident has informed me that Mentally Ill Chemical Abuse (MICA) clients and non-MICA clients will be housed together at their new location, City View Inn, in Long Island City Queens. New Life Shelter, a congregate shelter run by nonprofit Institute for Community Living, was formerly at 78 Catherine Street but clients were moved in 2020 to the Doubletree by Hilton located at 128 West 29th St when the COVID-19 pandemic began.
There seems to be no explanation as to the move while clients aren’t given enough notice to prepare, both physically, emotionally and mentally. If City View Inn is a hotel then why does one of the notices state it is a “congregate dorm”?
Unnecessarily endangering people while New York City currently accounts for more than half of the more than 11,000 COVID patients hospitalized statewide shows that NYCDHS doesn’t care whether the people in New Life Women’s Shelter live or die.
Stop The Towers of Doom!
- An LLC wants to build two out-of-scale towers at West 145th St and Lenox Avenue in Harlem, rising 363 feet above this low-rise neighborhood.
– A whopping 866–939 new residential units, including only 217–282 so-called “affordable” units. The majority of these will be speculative luxury condos and out-of-reach for current neighborhood residents!
– Will demolish almost a full block and destroy the current small businesses including the Timbuktu Islamic Center, restaurants, a 99-cent store and a laundromat. Permits for demolition were issued in January 2021 to Steve Neuman, owner of the real estate firm Coltown Properties. The developers say “further assessment of this concern is not warranted.” Say what??
- Al Sharpton, who is worth about $2 Million, will get a new headquarters for his National Action Network and a Civil Rights Museum.
– Bruce Teitelbaum, owner of One45 LLC, stands to gain 100s of 1000s of $$$.
– Upper class people, since the majority of apartments in both towers will be market-rate.
– International investors. Between 2014 and 2017 the number of vacant, unavailable apartments rose from 182,571 to 247,977 in NYC, many are “investment” placeholders held by the global super rich.
Everyone else! Neighborhood residents who can’t afford luxury apartments. Low and middle-income Black residents and Black-owned businesses who will be priced out of the community with increasing rents. The developer is asking the city to upzone this site to C4-6, a General Commercial Zoning District, turning it into a regional commercial center, such as Flushing in Queens and destroying the rich Black culture of the neighborhood. In NYC after an upzoning, the bulk of new housing is always for the luxury market, exasperating the NYC housing crisis.
The Department of City Planning (DCP) in NYC is narrowly focused on zoning as their main planning tool (a far cry from actual community-based planning). A spot-zoning (upzoning a single parcel for more height and density than that which is legally permitted), which is what ONE45 is asking for, increases the height of buildings and almost always results in displacement of the community and the construction of luxury buildings and upscale businesses. Upzonings are inherently racist and classist tools of white supremacy to ethnically cleanse Black and Brown communities and destroy, in this case, the Black culture of Harlem.
AMI & MIH
Area Median Income (AMI) is calculated each year by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The 2021 AMI for the New York City region is $107,400 for a three-person family. This # is used to determine “affordable” housing income requirements, rather than the average household income in Harlem, $49,095. Big Difference.
Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) is a DeBlasio-led zoning change made in 2016 that said developers are required to include “affordable” housing in new construction or when a rezoning occurs, usually only about 20%, while the remaining 80% are market-rate, many “luxury condominiums”. This scheme has been a huge land grab for big real estate while only creating just 2,065 MIH “affordable apartments” since 2016.
Download our flyer below and print and put them in your building and distribute to your friends and neighbors!
Resources and Sources
– Angotti T and Morse S (ed) (2017) Zoned Out! Race, Displacement, and City Planning in New York City. New York: Terreform
– One45Draft Scope of Work for Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement CEQR No.: 21DCP167M (April 9, 2021)
– Stein, Samuel (2021) Assessing de Blasio’s Housing Legacy. NewYork: Community Service Society
– Kober, Eric (January 2020) De Blasio’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Program: What Is Wrong, and How It Can Be Made Right. New York: Manhattan Institute
Chinese-American Woman Assault Victim Subjected to Retaliation and Discrimination by NYCHA
Ms. Xiamin Zeng was cornered, threatened and sexually assaulted at her workplace, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)’s LaGuardia Houses on September 8, 2016 by Christopher Ambrose a white hispanic male, age 36. An anonymous source tells me that this same individual, a resident of LaGuardia Houses, also sexually assaulted two Black women prior to the assault on Ms. Zeng.
In fact, NYCHA knew that the LaGuardia Houses were a hotspot of assault and sexual violence of NYCHA workers where employees never worked alone. Despite that, a NYCHA Supervisor, Alex Rodriguez, sent Ms. Zeng to work at this location alone, even after her numerous objections. After Ms. Zeng requested time off to go to a court hearing regarding her child, Mr. Rodriguez responded by saying, “fuck your child,” and “fuck your son.” Several of her Black coworkers even called her “fucking Asian,” “fucking yellow Asian” and “fucking stupid bitch.”
Ms. Zeng asked to be transferred and NYCHA responded by stating that she could transfer to Rutgers Houses, the building next to where Ambrose lives, or be terminated. She refused and NYCHA let her go.
In addition, Ms. Zeng’s supervisors at NYCHA called her a “Fucking Yellow Bitch,” denied her sick days to go to the doctor or to attend a mandated court hearing related to her domestic violence matter, and had her work in the cold with no coat and gave her more work than her non-Asian co-workers.
After Ms. Zeng reported this behavior, her supervisors retaliated by making her work longer hours. Ms. Zeng asked to be transferred and NYCHA responded by stating that she could transfer to Rutgers Houses, the building next to where Ambrose lives, or be terminated. She refused and NYCHA let her go.
As a consequence, Ms. Zeng suffers from PTSD and dizzness and has been admitted to the ER several times.
Ms. Zeng has filed multiple Federal lawsuits against city agencies and, according to an anonymous source, has been threatened to dismiss these suites.
DEBLASIO AND JOHNSON MUST RESIGN
Download and share with your city council member today! They will love it. Guaranteed!
We have recently received some beautiful handsewn masks from a generous donor and Alphonso has handed them out at the 30th St. Men’s Shelter in Manhattan.
The remaining money that was raised was used to buy Alphonso new shoes and $50 in cash was given to him for food and legal fees for his lawsuite. Thank you to everyone who donated so we could give him some help.
Downloads for General Strike 2020
Transparency in Our Fundraising
We have raised $275 so far. $99 has been handed off to Alphonso for him to survive including food, toiletries, notary and various court fees for his cases against the City. We have documented this the best we could from the photos below.
Finally DHS has been giving out masks so we are switching our fundraising right now solely so Alphonso can self-isolate in a hotel. Please give if you can. Also we are being sent 30 masks by a comrade’s relative and will distribute those soon. Stay tuned!