Tuesday, February 14, 2017

At the rally for the former PS 64 today at City Hall

As previously reported, local elected officials and other community leaders, organizations and residents held a rally and press conference on the steps of City Hall this afternoon to get Mayor De Blasio's attention on the former P.S 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center on East Ninth Street. (You can read the background here. Or here.)

EVG regular Peter Brownscombe shared these photos...

"Developers and their lobbyists are looking for every loophole they can find to convert Lower East Side community resources into luxury real estate opportunities," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "After what happened to Rivington House, properties with deed restrictions like this one deserve the strictest scrutiny from city agencies. We are still waiting for answers from City Hall to our questions about this property and its status, and we think Lower East Side residents have a right to demand a true community facility in this building."

City Council member Rosie Mendez, who helped organize the rally, was unable to attend due to a family emergency. Her office shared this statement: "The Former PS 64 CHARAS/El Bohio was a school building and a cultural community center that cultivated the hopes and dreams of so many people in our community. Community activists laid the seeds and the foundation that created our community gardens and our urban homesteading buildings while sitting in a room at CHARAS. This Valentine’s Day my community and I want nothing more than to get our building back."

And here are a few more photos... via Scuba Diva...

[Chino Garcia, one of the five founding members of CHARAS]


Anonymous said...

I think the mayor will take you more seriously if you spell his name correctly.

Anonymous said...

Rather have tea and cake need a power Demo here

chris flash said...

It was a wonderful demo, but no plan for EFFECTIVE results.

The city has always had the ability to RESCIND the sale of Charas to Singer on any number of grounds, not the least of which is the improper terms of sale (the city actually FINANCED this deal -- something it NEVER does for a sale of city-owned property!!) and the "urban blight" and building violations accrued over the past 15 years since Singer took possession, but there is NO desire to take real action.

Getting the building land-marked was a BIG step in the right direction. So was getting restrictive zoning. Still, Singer's plan, whether or not he can get token "student housing" on the site, is to wait us all out. He figures that, given enough time, politicians, community groups and neighbors who oppose him will move on and be out of his (non-existent) hair. Then he can do whatever he wants by getting a zoning variance from a future-but-equally-corrupt mayor's office (it only takes making the right "contribution".

Meanwhile, it is a waste of time and energy to get behind tired politicians (in office and those who are aspiring to higher office) who have been green-lighting over-development of the LES that fuels the hyper-gentrification destroying our community.

Two cases in point: re-zoning of the site occupied by a row of middle-income apartment buildings across the street from Webster Hall on East 11th Street that allows for erecting a luxury sky-scraper hotel after the buildings are demolished, and the development of "market rate" (INFLATED) units along Delancey Street on what was city-owned land that was cleared of affordable housing almost 50 years ago and NEVER restored or developed until corrupt NYS assemblyman Sheldon Silver was ousted and the real estate market was at an all-time high.

REAL elected "representatives" would be using their power and positions to PREVENT this sort of shit, not organizing pitiful demonstrations AFTER the damage has been done and cannot be un-done.

Beware of being sucked in by phoney forked-tongued politicos selling us FALSE HOPE, facilitating gentrification with one hand as they pretend to rally against it with the other!!

Anonymous said...

Let us know when the next demo is so we can show support

Anonymous said...

So, let me understand this.
The site was supposed to be developed for additional student housing. This would mean fewer students paying high rents, sharing apts. which would increase apt. availability in the area. So this is a bad thing? No compute.