Industry City and the Police Power of Zoning

In the past week, the New York Post and New York Daily News published editorials criticizing New York City Council Member Carlos Menchaca’s March 6 request to delay the certification of a consortium of major real estate investors and developers’ application for a special permit to build two hotels and rezone Industry City for retail, office, and academic uses. The accusatory language in both newspaper editorials exhibits a deep contempt for the necessary public review of private development proposals. read more.

Industry City: A Green New Deal Vs. Gentrification in Sunset Park

On a clear day, looking out over the sloshing blue-gray swell of Gowanus Bay from Sunset Park’s waterfront, you can see the Manhattan skyline. Pivot slightly and you’ll find eight nearly identical warehouses, erected between Second Avenue and the Gowanus Expressway. Weave through the alleyways between them to sit in sterile parks under the illumination of crisscrossed Christmas lights, or trek inside to drink at a sake brewery or drop $500 on a Charlie Hat from Teressa Foglia. Outside, semi-trucks rumble over potholes, and the awnings of bodegas fade in the sun. Read more.

New York Climate and Community Protection Act Will Invest into Low-Income and Communities of Color

World leaders and scientists alike have agreed that the biggest threat currently facing humanity is climate change. Although the United States withdrew from the Paris Agreement in June of 2017, the American people have remained committed to doing their part to mitigate risks and build towards a more sustainable low-carbon future. Read more.

Climate Change Organizers Must Respect the Work Already Underway in Frontline Communities

The ninth annual conference on New Directions in Environmental Law took place at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies on March 2. Organizers of the gathering maintain that climate change is the greatest threat to social justice, human rights and progress around the world. Conference participants explored existing challenges and legal and policy solutions to the crisis, placing climate justice at the center of the discussion. Read more.

How Philanthropy Can Advance the Green New Deal

The power of the new Congress, filled with energetic and idealistic lawmakers with fresh ideas, will be on full display this week as a proposal, known as the Green New Deal, gets a formal introduction today in the House and Senate along with two congressional hearings to put climate on center stage after a long lull in the congressional agenda. Read more

Inmates at New York prison without power for days during polar vortex

The scene at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park this past week was harrowing: prisoners — many of whom have yet to be convicted of a crime — relentlessly banged their fists against jail windows, some of them waving lights inside their pitch-black cells. The jail, which houses more than 1,600 inmates, had been without heat for days, just as the city’s temperatures had plummeted to single digits amid a polar-vortex event. Read more

Community Solar Developers Get Creative to Finance Big Projects

In 2016, Curbed New York described a “tidal wave” of wealth washing over the waterfront neighborhood of Sunset Park in Brooklyn. After decades of abandonment, developers had swooped into the community with plans to transform the area into the latest edition of gentrification news. But groups like Uprose, Brooklyn’s oldest Latino community-based organization, stepped in to fight for equitable solutions that would not only keep long-time residents in the community, but bring their voices into the decision-making process. Read more

Por quiénes esperamos

Es muy emocionante estar aquí, en este espacio de la Facultad de Estudios Generales del Recinto de Río Piedras de la UPR, con este grupo poderoso de mujeres guerreras, y tanta gente dispuesta a escucharnos. Cuando desde PAReS (Profesores Autoconvocados en Resistencia Solidaria) nos planteamos invitar a Naomi Klein a Puerto Rico para generar más discusión a nivel local y global sobre los peligros de la doctrina del shock y las amenazas que el capitalismo del desastre representa para Puerto Rico, estábamos a dos semanas del paso del huracán María. Read More

MLK Now 2018: The year of the woman

MLK Now, in its third consecutive year focused on the contributions of women to the modern movement for parity in the celebration of the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was held at Riverside Church Jan. 15, 2018, the site where Dr. King gave his controversial 1967 “Beyond Vietnam” speech. The event was co-hosted by Blackout for Human Rights, an activist organization with a membership that includes Ryan Coogler, Ava DuVernay and Pastor Michael McBride that is dedicated to raising awareness and finding solutions to the human rights violations that plague predominantly Black and Brown communities, and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, in partnership with Color of Change, PICO National Network and The Root. Read More

Abogan por una recuperación justa y sustentable en Puerto Rico

La población debe comprender que el poder económico y político comenzó a aprovechar la indefensión tras el desastre de los huracanes para impulsar decisiones y proyectos contrarios al pueblo, por lo que se debe prestar resistencia con soluciones de base comunitaria para que la recuperación sea realmente justa y sustentable. Read More

Naomi Klein: “los puertorriqueños hacen lo imposible todos los días”

Un nuevo Puerto Rico es posible, pero no ese aludido como eslogan en la campaña política de quien hoy es el gobernador.

Es aquel que se ha forjado en las comunidades como respuesta a la inacción “de quienes tienen la responsabilidad de atender esta crisis. Y ese es el mensaje que les tengo: que los desastres no tienen que ser estas oportunidades para que los obscenamente ricos se vuelvan más ricos. También pueden ser lo contrario: tener el poder de despertar algo extraordinario en nosotros”. Lo extraordinario, implícito en esa oración, es la capacidad de resolver los problemas por nosotros mismos.

The curse of ‘green gentrification’

Sunset Park, Brooklyn wasn’t always so nice. Today, it boasts a waterfront park replete with baseball fields, tide pools and a seaside esplanade, but not long ago that park was a hazardous waste site.

The credit for that transformation rests, in part, with the residents of Sunset Park, who pushed the city to clean up the waterfront. Over the last two decades, locals have racked up victories faster than Tom Brady. They blocked the construction of a gas-fired power plant, campaigned for a new shoreline walking path, and pressed transportation officials to remake a major street, adding trees and protected bike lanes, among other measures. Read More