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Block Party for a Just Rezoning

An exciting social justice event using the arts to mobilize and educate people of Inwood, Northern Manhattan, and other NYC neighborhoods subject to predatory rezoning plans.

Dominican fusion band Yasser Tejada y Palotré will headline entertainment that will include spoken word performer Kaila Paulino, dancers, poets, and other artists. This big, upbeat event will celebrate the sharing local culture of our diverse, mostly working class, majority-Latinx community, and educate people about competing rezoning plans: the Economic Development Corporation’s predatory plan making its way through the approval process despite its rejection by the community board and borough president, and the alternative Uptown United plan developed by a coalition of community groups.

EDC’s plan, with 70-80% of new housing as market rate luxury units, is a 1-way ticket to displace low-income residents, as has happened elsewhere in NYC. EDC’s upzoning commercial streets and enabling big-box stores will displace thriving local small businesses, many immigrant- and/or woman-owned. EDC offers no protections for 150 small businesses ripe for displacement in easily-developed “soft sites.”

The Uptown United plan enables growth of over 2,500 apartments affordable to Inwood’s working class residents and includes protections to discourage big-box chains and keep local small businesses in Inwood. People from other communities subject to recent or ongoing rezoning—East Harlem, East New York, Chinatown, and parts of the Bronx—will join us in solidarity for just rezoning plans across the city, including investments in oft-neglected neighborhoods that need new schools, improved infrastructure, better-maintained parks, and legal support for low-income tenants, as well as more affordable housing and commercial space.

Amidst the fun and entertainment, this event will make the case that social justice demands these investments without predatory rezonings that push out current residents and businesses.

AwesomeNYC is happy to be able to support the members of this community who are putting on this event to raise awareness about changes coming to their own community, and can hopefully lend a voice to making changes in support of this vibrant neighborhood.

Read more about the Uptown United Platform here

Funded by New York City, NY (July 2018)