The Justice For All Coalition is in the process of releasing updated plans and stances on the issues facing our community. The follow is an update to a 5 point plan for the future of LIC and Astoria titled Enough is Enough, released in June 2017. In the time since, we have seen developers and city-led agencies twist our words and participation to justify their plans. In fact, we believe Your LIC is one such plan.
We still say enough is enough. But our asks our different.
A statement on NextGeneration NYCHA and RAD is forthcoming, but in short, we are against these plans which will de facto privatize NYCHA buildings and displace NYCHA tenants.
The Justice for All Coalition is steadfastly opposed to any and all further luxury development on the Queens waterfront. We call for an immediate moratorium on all rezonings and major development projects in Queens until the broken, undemocratic city planning process is reformed.
We stand firmly against the massive proposed Plaxall rezoning, which would bring a 70 story luxury tower to Anable Basin.
We stand firmly against the NW Ravenswood strategic rezoning (under discussion by DCP), which would place more unaffordable housing right next door to NYCHA’s Ravenswood Houses, bringing high-end tech jobs and low-paying service-economy jobs, but not the high-paying, long-term, stable, and meaningful employment opportunities that would truly benefit NYCHA residents.
We stand firmly against any for-profit development on the publicly-owned land north of the Anable Basin and throughout the city. We oppose TF Cornerstone or any private developer making a profit off of our public land. We support only nonprofit, community-led and community-centered development on the Anable Basin site—which could include a public wetlands park, a school, a manufacturing/arts Community Land Trust in the DOE building and more.
We stand firmly, as well, against the destruction of manufacturing zones, which have provided stable employment and affordable space for jobs-producing manufacturing and artists. The influx of ”mixed-use” and residential rezonings of industrial areas previously put into place by the DCP have brought in luxury tech firms and high-end creative uses that push rents up to levels that are unaffordable to most manufacturers and working artists.
These developments and rezonings are a continuation of the dense, high-end development that was spurred by city-led rezonings of year’s past, in 1986, 2001, 2004, and 2008. The consequences of these decisions have been devastating for the community, placing strain on infrastructure and displacing residents via increasing land values and rising rents. Meanwhile, residents living in public housing are left with no housing alternatives and few job opportunities.
The City and its agencies say this time around will be different because we have MIH/ZQA now to help us create affordable housing, but we know this is not truly a housing solution for working-class communities. The income levels are not deep enough and the number of “affordable” units are too few. Instead, these crumbs of unaffordable “affordable housing” are used to justify large amounts of market-rate and luxury housing, which ultimately creates a tidal wave of displacement, clearing out long-time residents and businesses to make way for an influx of whiter, wealthier residents.
We see this luxury hyper-development in our region and across the City as a warning for Queens.
Thus, we demand an immediate moratorium on all major developments and rezonings – along the Queens waterfront and elsewhere until the City’s planning process is reformed to lock developers out of the process and center community voices. We will not allow the piecemeal destruction of our homes, communities and our borough.
In addition, we demand that the City conduct comprehensive community health impact studies and displacement studies to fully assess the past damages of the City’s actions and identify pathways to remediation.
In the meantime, we demand that city funds and efforts be used to preserve existing communities who have been harmed by past irresponsible and neglectful actions. This includes halting RAD and NextGeneration NYCHA/NYCHA 2.0, and Housing New York/Housing 2.0, which only promise to displace working-class communities from their homes, their communities, and the entire city. Instead, the City must direct public funds towards fully funding NYCHA now and in the future.
We call on our local elected officials—Jimmy Van Bramer, Costa Constantinedes, Cathy Nolan, Michael Gianaris, and Caroline Maloney to support these demands.
We also call on elected officials across the city—including the Mayor and the entire City Council— to reform the entire city planning process, which is creating a true catastrophe for NYC communities.