Mission & Purpose
The Justice for All Coalition formed in April of 2016 in Astoria / Long Island City to address community needs, including housing and jobs, particularly with the coming rezoning of our neighborhood. As our community continues to face increasing development pressure, we are joining together with other residents, faith communities, labor organizations, and community groups to assure that coming development actually benefits the current residents of Astoria / Long Island City.
Our mission is to inform, educate and organize the community to become united around a shared vision for our neighborhood, and be proactive regarding zoning, development and other quality of life issues impacting our neighborhoods. In the 2.5 years since, we’ve been educating and organizing our neighbors, aiming to build a local movement that can advocate for the needs of our community.
This coalition has a proactive commitment to provide the facts and necessary information needed to make informed decisions to our community, specifically related to the rezoning process. Research is a major component to achieving this goal. A second and more interactive component are hosting community meetings & forums. We also develop outreach tools to assure that there are opportunities for residents, especially those often left behind in planning processes, to understand and shape development in our community. This includes developing surveys, door knocking, phone banking, flyering, postcards, social media, and outreach at faith-based services and community events. After informing and educating our community, we mobilize together behind a shared set of principles for just development in Astoria / Long Island City. We work with elected officials and their staff to assure that the planning and zoning changes reflect those principles. When necessary, we will voice our concerns both in meetings and publicly, to assure that the community needs and desires are reflected. This can include petitions, public demonstrations, marches and other tactics.
Spring 2015: Founded
In April of 2015, the group that became the Justice For All Coalition convened for the first time. These founding members, all congregants of the Conception Church of Astoria (CCA) located in Queens New York and led by Dr. Diane Brown came together to discuss their concerns about the over-development happening in Long Island City. As buildings and hotels rapidly sprouted out of the ground, the neighboring public housing developments – which many of them called home – were deteriorating as quickly with little public attention, outcry, or funding.
Spring/Summer 2015: Expanding the Base
While the group – self-titled CCA for Social Justice – sought to expand their own understanding of what was happening through reading and seeking council from neighbors across the city coming up against similar realities, they also sought to expand their base. Thus, that same spring, the group convened a community meeting at Ravenswood Houses and invited members of the Queensbridge Tenant Association to join the Steering Committee. In August of that year, they also held a meeting at Astoria Houses, and hosted a clergy meeting.
Fall/Winter 2015: Rebranding, Restructuring, and Foundation Building
From August through the end of 2015, JFA went through a grow spurt: they adopted the namesake JFA, as it stands today (remember they began CCA SJ); they established the formal JFA setting committee as it stands today; they met with the Department fo City Planning to discuss the rezoning; they attended a rally opposing ‘mandatory inclusionary housing’ or MIH – an important component of the Mayor’s housing plan; they held a petition drive to, collecting statement of support forms to help establish their principles; and held a meeting with then candidate, now Councilmember Costa Constantinides to learn more about Astoria Cove.
2016: Building Up
The outreach and process of foundation building that began in the Fall of 2015 continued thorugh 2016. More specifically, JFA held a meeting with Queensbridge tenants at Jacob Riis Center; met with staff of Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer’s office, met with HPD and Voices of New York.; held a meeting on the BQX to assess its impacts on LIC and Astoria. They also gained support from key established organizations including CAAAV, who represents tenants in Queensbridge Houses and joined the JFA Steering Committee in March 2016 and Technical Assistance Providers Paula Crespo and Missy Risser from Pratt Center for Neighborhood Development and the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center respectively.
2017: Building Out
2017 was a year of continued growth for the organization. In February, Sylvia White became the formal chair of JFA. Under her leadership, JFA support the March for Equitable Development in Southeast Queens in June, Collaborated and marched with Dr. Lenore Fulani of CICA, expanded to include the concerns of small business owners, and had good representation at the charettes led by the Department of City Planning through the summer and early Fall. That Fall we hosted out first Community Town Hall and hired Organizer Stanley Morse as lead organizer for JFA.
Past Media Coverage
AUG 18, 2021: Queensbridge Residents Sue NYCHA for Hazardous Living Conditions. Sunnyside Post.
AUG 17, 2021: NYCHA residents in Queens sue NYC to force repairs as lead, mold issues persist. Pix.
AUG 17, 2021: Queensbridge tenants sue NYCHA. Queens Daily Eagle.
AUG 13, 2021: The Bronx Social Justice and Anti-Violence Forums | Privatization of NYCHA. BronxNet.
JUL 26, 2021: Advocates denounce NYCHA hearing on public housing reform. Queens Daily Eagle.
APR 27, 2021: Over a dozen NYCHA residents plan a rent strike in Harlem and Chelsea starting May 1. PIX11.
FEB 5, 2021: NYCHA maintenance issues have skyrocketed since the pandemic. How can residents hold NYCHA accountable? Columbia Spectator.
OCT 20, 2020: Astoria Houses tenants weigh rent strike after three weeks without gas. Queens Daily Eagle.
OCT 14, 2020: Astoria Houses tenants have been without cooking gas for nearly three weeks. QNS.
OCT 7, 2020: A “Guerrilla Garden” Is Growing In NYCHA’s Queensbridge Houses. Gothamist.
SEPT 14, 2020: Opinion: Special Flushing Waterfront District rezoning appeal is grounded in misinformation. Queens Daily Eagle.
AUG 21, 2020: A Growing Movement Takes on the Mega-Development. Bloomberg City Lab.
AUG 18, 2020: Opinion: City’s Finance-Driven Approach to Managing NYCHA is Wrong for Tenants. City Limits.
JULY 17, 2020: After Demanding Repairs, Queensbridge Tenant Gets Eviction Notice. Patch.
JULY 7, 2020: When Rent Comes Due, Residents of Privatized Public Housing May Be Most Vulnerable. Bedford & Bowery.
JULY 3, 2020: Developers detail vision for site once targeted for Amazon HQ2. Crains.
JUNE 23, 2020: Can a Neighborhood Become a Network? CURBED.
MARCH 11, 2020: Protesters turn BQX meeting in LIC upside down. Corner of Astoria.
MARCH 10, 2020: Immediate Steps Seen for Sunnyside Development Plan. City Limits
FEB 27, 2020: EDC states its case for the BQX at MoMI Backers cite transportation, economic benefits; $1B+ in funding still an issue.
FEB 20, 2020: Community Board 1 Approves Sanitation Department’s Application to Relocate 21st Street Facility. Astoria Post.
FEB 6, 2020: YourLIC and Public Land: Letter to the Editor. LIC Post.
NOV 26, 2019: Anti-Amazon Pols Signal Concerns Over Sunnyside Yards Plans. The City.
NOV 25, 2019: Residents Discuss Future of LIC Waterfront at First YourLIC Meeting. LIC Post.
NOV 14, 2019: Developing Long Island City’s waterfront a year after Amazon. Curbed.
NOV 13, 2019: A Year after Amazon Picked LIC, Suspicions Cloud Future. The City.
OCT 23, 2019: Did Bernie Sanders Give NYCHA Residents Enough Notice Of His Huge Queens Rally?. Gothamist.
OCT 17, 2019: A plan to transform LIC’s Anable Basin. Queens Chronicle.
SEPT 18, 2019: Developers to Meet With Community Organizations to Discuss Former Amazon Site. LIC Post.
MARCH 2, 2019: 90 Community Groups Write Joint Letter Critical of Cuomo’s Plea to Lure Amazon Back, LIC Post.
MARCH 6, 2019: Van Bramer Honors Black Community Leaders At Black History Month, Queens Gazette.
FEB 19, 2019: After Amazon Calls It Quits, Activists Figure Out What’s Next, WNYC.
FEB 15, 2019: Amazon Amazon Cancels Plan to Build Headquarters in LIC, AMNY.
FEB 6, 2019: Justice For All Talks Amazon & NYCHA Rent Strike, Queens Gazette.
FEB 2, 2019: How New York’s Labor Community Split Over Amazon Pulling Out of LIC, NY1.
JAN 29, 2019: NYCHA Tenants May Launch Rent Strike in Northwest Queens, AMNY.
JAN 1, 2019: Tenant Coalition Moving Cautiously on Possible NYCHA Rent Strike, City Limits.
OCT 9, 2018: Neighborhood Groups to Join Massive Rally Against Overdevelopment, LIC Post.
SEPT, 17, 2018: With Broad Rezoning Moving Slowly, LIC Developers are Pushing for Their Own Changes, City Limits.
OCT 19, 2017: Awaiting a City Plan, LIC Groups Sketch out Red Lines around Rezoning. By Abigail Savitch-Lew, City Limits.
OCT 17, 2017: Van Bramer Says He’ll Listen to Public Housing Residents on Rezonings. By Abigail Savitch-Lew, City Limits.
JUNE 29, 2017: Coalition opposes area gentrification. By Neglah Sharma, Queens Chronicle.
JUNE 20, 2017: Queens Advocates See Triple Threat: LIC Rezoning, BQX Streetcar, Sunnyside Yards Plan. By Amelia Spittal, City Limits.
JUNE 6, 2017: Queensbridge, Van Bramer March for Justice For All. By Thomas Cogan, Queens Gazette.
MARCH 14, 2017: NYCHA Worries Drive Doubts About Long Island City Rezoning. By Abigail Savitch-Lew, City Limits.
MARCH 2, 2017: Report Finds Rezonings Threaten Auto-Repair Industry. By Abigail Savitch-Lew, City Limits.
FEB 1, 2017: Long Island City residents are wary of city plans to rezone part of their neighborhood. By Angela Matua, Qns.
FEB 1, 2017: City Planners in LIC Must Contend with Flaws in Bloomberg-Era Rezoning. By Abigail Savitch-Lew, City Limits.
JAN 31, 2017: Anti-gentrification groups prepare for city’s rezoning push in Long Island City. By Bill Parry, TIMESLedger.
NOV 17, 2016: Growing fears of over gentrification in Qns. By Kari Lindberg, Queens Chronicle.
NOV 11, 2016: Justice for All Coaliton Meeting Comes Together. By Thomas Cogan, Queens Gazette.
JUNE 9, 2016: Past Rezonings Shape Long Island City’s Feelings about De Blasio Plan. By Abigail Savitch-Lew, City Limits.
MAY 10, 2016: Astoria Residents Meet De Blasio’s “Foolish” $2.5 Billion Streetcar. By Emma Whitford, Gothamist.