Jerome Avenue Rezoning Focus of Block Party



Jerome Avenue StudyLabor unions, elected officials and community organizers joined forces on last Saturday to host a block party for Jerome Avenue residents to educate them about Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan and planned rezoning of the area.


The Laborers union (LIUNA) and Mason Tenders District Council (MTDC), who are active members of the Coalition, have been active in the rezoning process since the announcement of the Mayor’s affordable housing plan – pushing for strict labor standards, which include apprenticeship training, local hire programs, safety standards, deep affordability requirements and anti-displacement policies. In partnership with Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA), and all other members of the Coalition, the block party will work to educate community residents on the benefits of applying strict workforce, affordability, and anti-displacement standards to the rezoning process.


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The block party and rally held Saturday, August 6th from 12-5pm on Jerome Avenue (Marcy Place to 170th Street) featured a speaking program with local community, labor and elected leaders.


“We must ensure that this rezoning works to benefit everyday people,” said Barrie Smith, President of 100 Black Construction Workers. “This process will lead to taller, more crowded buildings in our neighborhood that enrich developers. It is our job to ensure the community benefits as well. We must tell our leaders that any rezoning program must include local hire programs, apprenticeship training, and safety standards. “


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“It seems like everyday I read about another construction accident happening on a non-union development site,” said Wayne Moten, Local 79 Journeyman and Jerome Avenue resident. “The rezoning will lead to more building and more accidents unless we ensure every developer is held to stringent safety standards. As an experienced construction worker, I know that means building with union workers. We must ensure Jerome Avenue residents receive safe jobs from the rezoning process.”


“As a community, we must come together collectively and rally behind and support what we want for our community. The City must not come into our neighborhood and tell us what they think we need. Strong anti-displacement and harassment policies must be place and required; we need real affordable housing that reflects the community needs; we need good jobs and local hire; and finally, we need real community engagement. If the City does not incorporate our principles and demands into their plan, then our message to them is NO, do not come into our community,” said Carmen Vega-Rivera, CASA Leader, “Mi CASA no es tu CASA!”


Jerome Avenue Rezoning_Tish James“As we rezone Jerome Avenue, it is important that we create good paying jobs that keep longtime community members in this neighborhood,” said New York City Public Advocate Leticia James, “Together, we can preserve neighborhoods, put people to work, and build a New York that continues to live up to its reputation as the greatest city in the world.


Jerome Av Party_08062016 (1)“I remain committed to leveraging the Jerome Avenue rezoning plan to preserve and maintain permanent affordability within the Bronx, protect local businesses – including the autoworkers – and create good jobs that hire locally and adhere to safety training and wage standards,” said City Council Member Vanessa Gibson, “The Bronx has suffered from chronic underinvestment. I am determined to ensure this long overdue attention benefits the residents and business owners currently living along the corridor. I thank the many advocacy groups and individuals who have worked with my office to craft a vision of the Jerome Avenue Corridor that reflects the best interests of all who live here. I am with you and I will continue to work alongside you as we push for a plan that truly serves the community.”


Jerome Avenue Rezoning_Sen Rivera“As the City works to rezone the Jerome Avenue neighborhood to build new affordable housing, we need to work together to make sure our community’s needs are met. That means real affordability, tenant and business anti-displacement policies, and training and wage standards for the workers who will be building this housing,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “This block party will  be a great tool for our community to learn about the rezoning process and how to work together to demand the standards we need to make our neighborhood stronger.”


Jerome Avenue Rezoning_AM Pichardo“Jerome Avenue is home to vibrant community of residents and small businesses, and it is our job to make sure this community is protected as the area is rezoned for affordable housing,” said State Assemblyman Victor Pichardo, “That means making sure tenants and businesses aren’t displaced, construction workers on these sites are paid fair wages with safe working conditions, and proper safety training, and that the housing built will be truly affordable for the community. We cannot allow powerful interests to decide what is best for our community and how to use taxpayer subsidies in it without defined benefits for our neighborhood and all the residents, businesses and workers in it!”


The Bronx Coalition for A Community Vision includes Community Action for Safe Apartments-New Settlement Apartments, The Laborers Union, Mason Tenders District Council, Latino Pastoral Action Center, Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, Mothers on the Move, United Auto Merchants Association, Faith In New York, Local 79, Plumbers Local No. 1, NYC District Council of Carpenters, Greater NY-LECET, 100 Black Construction Workers, and others.

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