AOC Visits Pelham Parkway Houses

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (better known as AOC) visited the Pelham Parkway Houses Saturday to talk about her New Green Deal for NYCHA. 

Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez pointing to a photo of public housing in another country as an example to what NYCHA should be, while Daniel Cohen gives his presentation.

Saying that housing is a human right, and that by Systematic Disinvestment, a state of emergency exists in NYCHA. 83% of NYCHA apartments inspected by New York State experienced at least one severe condition. AOC then said ‘That Stops Now.’

AOC has proposed A Green New Deal for NYCHA, which is a plan to invest $48 Billion in comprehensive green retrofits and repairs for all NYCHA housing, creating up to 324,519 jobs in NYC over ten years.. She added that the union jobs could be done by NYCHA residents through an apprentice program. Asthma rates could be reduced by up to 30%, cutting NYCHA’s annual Carbon Footprint to zero by 2030, making every NYCHA complex a resilience center for coordinating disaster relief, and reducing NYCHA utility costs by up to $300 million a year.

The Temporary boilers outside the Pelham Parkway Houses which have been in place for years now, even though the monies have been allocated to replace the old boilers.

Daniel Aldana Cohen Ph.D of the University of Pennsylvania gave a power point presentation backing up what the congresswoman said. If it can be done in public housing in other countries it should be able to be done here. 
Three residents of various citywide NYCHA houses gave testimony of their problems with NYCHA management, the third being Cathy McFadden the Tenant Leader of the Pelham Parkway Houses. AOC then said that most NYCHA buildings were built in the 1950’s with a lifespan of 50 years. She did not want to use the RAD Program used in Southeast Queens by filling up NYCHA houses with Section 8 residents to receive extra federal funding for repairs. The reason, NYCHA houses in AOC’s district have working class people living in them. 

The people gather across the street from the temporary boilers before breaking out into smaller groups to canvass the Pelham Parkway Houses.

After the meeting everyone went outside for a walk ending up by the temporary boilers placed in the street for many years waiting for the broken boilers to be fixed, since the money to do that was allocated years ago. The group then broke out into smaller groups to canvass the tenants informing them of the benefits of the New Green Deal to them.
I was able to ask AOC  her opinion about the new borough jails passed by the mayor and city council. The congresswoman said that she was opposed to closing Rikers for high rise jails in buildings that would wind up like the high rise NYCHA buildings. When I followed up with a question about Governor Cuomo wanting  LaGuardia Airport runways extended on to Rikers Island, the congresswoman said that is already being done. 

AOC answers my questions about Rikers Island and its future.
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