Activist Movement Exposes Link Between Gentrification and Climate Change

Climate change is a global issue that affects us all, but mainly racial minorities and low-income communities bear the brunt of its immediate effects. The environmental movement as many people know it has been white, old and rich which many see as part of its ineffectiveness and irrelevance. In response, the climate justice movement has emerged and aims to break down silos that have divided communities in order to achieve real substantial change. Underrepresented groups are taking action to unite around economic and social issues in order to ensure true government accountability, inclusion and effective organizing.

On August 3, 2017, UPROSE, Brooklyn's oldest Latino-community based organization, held its sixth annual Climate Justice Youth Summit that gathered approximately 750 young people of color from across the country to talk about the intersection of civil and environmental rights. The event included a series of small workshops called learning circles where participants engaged in discussions about how climate change influences cultural topics like gentrification and policing. The activities throughout the day culminated with a keynote address from actor and activist Danny Glover.

Young People of Color Are Leading America’s Climate Justice Movement

Youths from diverse backgrounds gathered at New York's Climate Justice Youth Summit to focus on enacting local policies that combat climate change and protect communities of color threatened by its effects.

More than 500 youth of color gathered in Manhattan on Thursday, August 3 for the annual Climate Justice Youth Summit. When the Summit began six years ago, many of those in attendance might have never heard of the phrase "climate justice," which refers to the climate crisis and racial justice. Now, it's one of the nation's largest gathering working at that intersection.

These youth of color are organizing to address climate change

On Thursday morning, hundreds of young people of color received an urgent message: they couldn’t afford not to be leaders in the fight against climate change.

“We are descendants of colonization and slavery. You are the children of extraction. Extraction is now taking over the planet,” Elizabeth Yeampierre, executive director of UPROSE, said. “I want to see those fists up!’”

At the Climate Justice Youth Summit on Aug. 3 in New York City, speakers focused on the impact of climate change on people of color and called on youth of color to lead the fight against climate crises in their communities. The daylong event was the sixth of its kind hosted by UPROSE, a Brooklyn-based organization that promotes sustainability and cultural expression.

At a Climate Justice Fashion Show, the Kids Prove They're Gonna Be All Right

There’s not a ton of room for environmental optimism these days—optimism in general seems to have taken a leave of absence in the Trump age—but that wasn’t the case at the 6th annual Climate Justice Youth Summit (CJYS), hosted by UPROSE, a Latino community-based organization based in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The summit billed itself as “the largest gathering of young people of color discussing the future of climate change in the country,” and around midday, hundreds of attendees aged six to 18 cheerfully packed tight into a light-filled chapel in Morningside Heights’ Union Theological Seminary for one of the day’s highlights: a fashion show.

Samuel Blackwood & Makayla Comas of UPROSE - The Importance of Environmental Activism

The Karen Hunter Show teaches the keys to entrepreneurial success in the industries of sports, politics, entertainment and so much more, directly from the celebrities and civilians who have personally created brands from the ground up. Hear the Karen Hunter Show on SiriusXM Urban View on-demand, channel 126

Jóvenes se preparan en Nueva York para enfrentar los retos del cambio Climático Loading

La capital del mundo recibirá a más de 700 estudiantes con motivo de la Cumbre de la Juventud de la Justicia Nacional Climática, un encuentro que busca preparar a los sectores más vulnerables frente a los efectos del cambio climático. Elizabeth Yeampierre, directora ejecutiva de Uprose, indicó que este fenómeno “está afectando a nuestras comunidades y va a tener un impacto desastroso en esta generación”, razón que motivó el encuentro.

    BQX Back On Track After Union, Housing Rally

    The controversial proposed Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX) streetcar project got back on track yesterday with the 42,000-member strong Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 holding a rally at NYCHA’s Red Hook Houses in support of the transportation plan.

    According to the plan, the BQX will start in Sunset Park and will run through Gowanus, Red Hook, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Vinegar Hill, The Navy Yard, Williamsburg, Greenpoint before heading to Long Island City and ending in Astoria. The 16-mile route along the East River waterfront corridor is planned to run 24-hours-a-day with five-minute intervals at peak hours with stops a half-mile apart.

    City's Transport Workers Union backs de Blasio's Brooklyn-Queens connector trolley plan

    The city's transit union is onboard with Mayor de Blasio’s trolley.

    The leadership of Transport Workers Union Local 100 will offer Monday its endorsement of the controversial Brooklyn-Queens Connector, a proposed 16-mile waterfront streetcar. Read more

    AN OPEN LETTER TO TRANSIT WORKERS UNION (TWU) LOCAL 100

    Dear Mr. Samuelsen,

    UPROSE has had a long and positive history of working with Transit Workers Union Local 100 and supporting transit workers’ campaigns, including in our successful joint effort to restore B37 bus service. I am writing to express our deep disappointment that TWU has decided to endorse the city’s proposed Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX). The BQX has generated considerable debate and community resistance along the proposed corridor. In particular, it has sparked significant concern about the influence of the real estate lobby over public projects, governmental accountability, how infrastructure projects are financed, working-class displacement, and climate resiliency. With a price-tag of $2.5 billion and growing, the streetcar is being pushed by a consortium of elite waterfront real estate developers with stakes along the proposed corridor. The financing of this infrastructure depends primarily on inflating property values along the route, which has led City Hall staffers to quietly refer to the streetcar as the Gentrification Express. It is troubling to see a labor union like TWU throw its support behind a project that spells unnecessary struggle for working-class New Yorkers.

    For decades UPROSE has led on issues of transportation planning, waterfront resiliency, and anti-displacement. Locally, we spearhead Protect Our Working Waterfront Alliance (POWWA), a broad coalition of residents, businesses, labor, housing advocates, faith leaders, and others committed to preserving the industrial character of Sunset Park and preventing displacement. TWU workers live along the proposed BQX corridor in working-class communities – from Astoria to Red Hook to Sunset Park. Because of its regressive financing model, the BQX would pose a direct threat of displacement to union members living along the route. Moreover, alternative mass surface transit options like expanded Bus Rapid Transit would be guaranteed to generate transportation employment without the threats of gentrification and displacement. Moreover, there is no guarantee of transfer between the BQX and MTA transit like subways and buses. What this does is instate a two-fare zone for riders along the corridor, entirely excluding NYCHA residents and other low-income and working-class commuters that require a transfer. Finally, because we truly believe that mass surface transit is at the heart of the economic development and our city’s climate needs, we should not be supporting waterfront transit projects that are so inflexible in extreme weather.

    Now more than ever, with a federal administration trampling workers’ rights and environmental justice, it is imperative that labor unions and grassroots community organizations build bonds of solidarity. Our institutions need to form strategic partnerships to push back against unaccountable corporate interests that imperil economic, social, and environmental justice. Your members live in our community; the battles that we wage – over workers’ rights, affordable housing, and climate justice – depend on our forging policy alignment that put our people and our workers first.

    With the above in mind, I strongly urge you to reconsider your endorsement of the BQX. We would be happy to meet at your convenience to discuss how we might build consensus around just transportation policy that serves our shared goals and agendas. Please do not hesitate to contact me at elizabeth@uprose.org or 718-492-9307.

     

    Sincerely,

    Signature - Elizabeth (1).JPG
     

    Elizabeth Yeampierre

    Executive Director

    Puerto Rican Day Parade Honoree: ‘A Bad Guy.’ ‘Why Not?’

    Two weeks before the 60th annual Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City, Andrés Otero was his own grand marshal of the Loisaida Festival, a neighborhood celebration on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Decked head to toe in the colors of the Puerto Rican flag on Sunday, he drove down the middle of Avenue C in a red scooter festooned with stickers of conga drums and roosters. Read More

    Fighting Gentrification on Brooklyn’s Waterfront

    Underneath the hum of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, crowds file past Third Avenue towards Sunset Park’s repurposed waterfront factories. No, they won’t be clocking in to the assembly line for an eight-hour day of union wages — they’ll be mixing with peers at a $75-a-head wine tasting then wandering Industry City’s open art studios, faces flushed with drink instead of sweat.

    True Climate Justice Puts Communities of Color First

    The day before the People’s Climate March in Washington, DC, Preyton Lambert—skinny, dreadlocked and sporting black-frame glasses—was getting hustled on a boulevard near the National Mall. Another boy restrained his arms, before throwing him to the ground. His cheek pressed against the pavement. Two girls recorded the encounter on their phones as a crowd looked on.

    Sunset Parkers clash over Fourth Avenue bike lane

    This is going to be an uphill battle.

    A panel of Sunset Parkers clashed over the city’s plan to connect the nabe with Downtown via a bike lane along Fourth Avenue — with some calling it “rolling gentrifica­tion,” and others hailing it for giving transportation-starved Southern Brooklynites more options — leaving locals grinding gears over whether the path is right for the nabe.

    Read More 

    CityView: As They Rally Around Rezonings, Planners Often ‘Plansplain’

    On May 2, City Limits published an opinion piece by long-term New York City planner Sandy Hornick about Mayor de Blasio’s housing plan titled “Misconceptions Drive Opposition to de Blasio’s Housing Plan.” The essay argued that protesters at recent zoning hearings fundamentally misunderstand not only the mayor’s plan, but the very idea of planning itself. Rezonings don’t cause gentrification, Hornick argued, and the best way to bring down rents it is to allow developers to keep building more.

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    Hope and puppet shows: here's what happened at the People's Climate March

    As if to underscore the point of the Climate March, Washington, DC was muggy, sticky, and unseasonably hot. It was a perfect backdrop to the signs reading “Make the Earth cool again,” “It’s getting hot in here,” or “the Earth is melting.”

    Marching for a Green and Just Future

    UNITED NATIONS, Apr 28 2017 (IPS) - People around the world will be banding together to fight one of the world’s most pressing problems: climate change.

    Thousands are set to gather at the People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C. on 29 April to mark the 100th day of President Donald Trump’s administration and push for solutions to the climate crisis.