The Bronx Coalition for A Community Vision formed after learning about the City's plans to rezone 73 blocks along Jerome Avenue, from 167th Street to 184th Street.
What we Believe:
- The planning process needs to be participatory. Community engagement must mean the active, consistent engagement of thousands of affected community residents.
- Build 100% of affordable housing for our community.
- The city must adopt community developed anti-harassment and anti-displacement policies before moving forward with any planning or courting of developers and businesses to protect housing and jobs.
- We need good jobs for us--that means local hire!
Why We Believe This Coalition is Important:
- This re-zoning is massive. It will drastically shape the history of the Bronx. It affects more than 300 businesses and thousands of rent stabilized tenants.
- This is the first re-zoning in the Bronx under the de Blasio administration and it will set the stage for all future re-zonings in the Bronx.
- Historically in NYC, neighborhood-wide re-zonings have meant massive displacement. We don’t want that to happen here. We can’t allow that to happen here.
- We have already seen a rapid loss of affordable housing in the Bronx neighborhoods slated for this re-zoning.
- The Area Median Income (AMI) for CB4 is $27,000 and $21,000 for CB5. We need housing for the people who live here.
- Progress and change are not synonymous with gentrification. Gentrification is the process of creating a new neighborhood exclusively for the gentry. We deserve to build neighborhoods for the people that live here by the people that live here so that we can live with dignity and respect. This includes preserving jobs for local residents that allow pathways of advancement.
- Already, the specter of the rezoning is impacting the neighborhood. Increased land prices will provide a financial incentive for owners of rent stabilized property to push out rent stabilized tenants to accelerate the destabilization that is already happening. And owners of the buildings that house small business are doubling rents, refusing to issue to leases and shortening the length of the leases from 10 years to 1 year. Displacement is here. It will only get worse if we don’t intervene.
- We are in a unique moment to set an example for the Bronx and for the City.
- We believe that community members are the experts and that the community should develop a vision for "Cromwell-Jerome."
What We've Done So Far:
- Grounded in the belief that community members are the experts, we decided that our first act must be to hold a forum, educating community members about the City’s plans, about the study area and about the need to get involved. On March 5th, in the middle of a snow storm, more than 450 community residents came to learn about the study area, the process of re-zoning and how they can get involved!!!
- After the community forum convened on March 5th, the steering committee met and created a structure for community engagement. From March to June, we held four visioning sessions. At each session, we gave an overview of the community engagement process,of our coalition, and presented and shared data and information on the current status of jobs and employment, affordable housing, community involvement, commercial industries and tenant harassment. Grounded in this data and in our shared experiences, we worked in groups at each visioning session to brainstorm a list of solutions. Each session was attended by 100-150 community residents.
- We also collected over 500 surveys about people’s concerns and hopes for the rezoning.This data is used throughout the platform to document the needs identified by community members. And we conducted extensive community outreach to ensure as many residents and workers as possible knew about this process.
- On September 30th, we held a forum where we presented a draft of these policy recommendations to over 150 community residents to gain their insight, feedback and priorities.
- In total, more than 1,500 community members attended the forums and visioning sessions.
- More than 6,500 doors were knocked to tell tenants about the rezoning process and to let them know about the visioning session. More than 322 business owners had conversations with members of the coalition about the rezoning, while all businesses got information and flyers and more than 2,000 community residents were called.
- On October 21st, we released our platform to over 700 residents, workers and city officials! Read the full policy platform in English here and in Spanish here! For a shorter version, go to the executive summary here in English and here in Spanish.
- After the release of our policy platform, we spent the next four months engaging hundreds of residents in a process of prioritizing our recommendations. We then wrote a letter to City Planning outlining our recommendations and urging them to include our recommendations into the plan for Jerome Ave. We are still waiting to hear back from them with substantive commitments.
Join us for monthly rezoning campaign meetings on the first Thursday of every month, from 6-8pm at 1501 Jerome Ave.
Call Susanna for more information at 718-716-8000, ext. 125.
Who we are: Community Action for Safe Apartments-New Settlement Apartments, 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....list in formation.
The Coalition is supported by: The Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center, Pratt Center for Community Development, Hester Street Collaborative, The Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, The Center for Urban Pedagogy, and the Real Affordability for All Coalition, South Bronx Unite, Mid Bronx Senior Citizen Advisory Council…list in formation.
Watch this amazing video about our work!