Friday, July 21, 2017

Follow The Money


"When Mayor Bill de Blasio was a Councilmember he sponsored the Small Business Jobs Survival Act. When he ran for Public Advocate, he championed it. Now that he is mayor, he is prohibiting the same bill from reaching the floor for a vote and recommends urging landlords to be less greedy.

As we head into election-year debates, the city needs to know what happened? Why has Mayor Bill de Blasio abandoned his campaign pledges to take this city in another direction from Mike Bloomberg and help our struggling small businesses so they can survive? There are vacant storefronts in once vibrant neighborhoods and affordable grocery stores are closing all over the city.

Why hasn’t the mayor called a public hearing on the small business crisis so New Yorkers can hear all of the proposals to address it?"

Text excerpted from Powerful Forces Stop NYC Leaders from Helping Mom & Pop Stores by Kirsten Theodos (City Limits, July 20th 2017)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Not Another Starbucks


Another Starbucks is planned for the huge storefront at 125 St Mark's Place at Avenue A. We don't need more chains in the East Village! We need retail diversity and independently owned local businesses! Join community groups and local shop owners from East Village Independent Merchants Association and more to stand up for the unique character of the East Village. Support policies that can promote retail diversity, prevent chain stores and preserve small businesses! Join community groups and local shop owners from the East Village Independent Merchants Association for a protest on Thursday, July 13th at 5:30pm.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Queens March Against Gentrification


Every morning as we ride the 7 train past Queensboro Plaza we see an atrocity taking place in Long Island City. On every block we see a new skyscraper under construction. In each new building, dozens of apartments sit vacant, waiting to be filled. We work every day, struggling to get by, while city planners and politicians conspire with developers — to decide our fate without the slightest bit of compassion or regard for our lives. We see this trend in so many neighborhoods across New York City.

Long-term residents, Black and Brown communities, grandmas, immigrants and Queer youth of color have all been on the front lines of the housing struggle for decades - fighting courageously against their landlords, the bureaucracy and neglect of NYCHA, and the violence of the police and immigration agencies. These battles are sometimes collective, but very often they are individual and never reported on by the media. We write this statement, not for the politicians, but for those who are fighting — we see you and we are with you.

We are at a crucial moment in the development of this city. Currently there are three proposals being considered that will forever transform the landscape of Western Queens, and send a ripple effect throughout the borough that will even be felt in Flushing, at the opposite end of the 7 train:

• The BQX will run a luxury streetcar along the waterfront of Astoria and Long Island City all the way to Sunset Park, Brooklyn. One purpose of the streetcar is explicitly to increase land value

• The development of Sunnyside Yards will essentially create a new neighborhood in Queens, consisting of 24,000 additional housing units, the vast majority of which will be completely unaffordable to current working class residents of Queens.

• The rezoning of Long Island City will open the doorway to even more luxury real estate development, the effects of which(higher property values & rents) will spread eastward.

Any of these proposals alone would result in massive displacement and gentrification Queens. Together, they represent nothing less than an all-out assault on our neighborhoods.

On November 18th, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer led a local march against Trump. He stated, “Queens is a diverse county that appreciates and loves all its neighbors, including the undocumented,” and Trump “cannot occupy our hearts and minds and our will to live in a country that aspires to freedom and fairness and equality for all.” If Jimmy Van Bramer truly cares about all of the diverse working class immigrant communities of Queens, he will stand in firm opposition to all luxury development projects that would displace those same communities, leaving thousands homeless.

The so-called “inclusionary zoning" and “affordable housing” proposals that the city has introduced actually displace more affordable housing than they create as a result of the overall increase in property value from luxury developments. We need real solutions if we want to stop displacement.

We can no longer accept band-aid proposals that ignore the root causes of gentrification and displacement in New York City. We demand that Jimmy Van Bramer oppose, unconditionally, the BQX, Sunnyside Yards development, and the new Long Island City Rezoning. Instead, we demand an immediate city-wide rent freeze and moratorium on upzonings until a legitimate solution is achieved. Additionally, we demand Van Bramer’s unconditional opposition to the privatization of NYCHA.

On Thursday, April 20th, 2017 at 6pm we will meet and rally at the 46th Street Public Plaza under the 7 train, across the street from Van Bramer’s office, and eventually march past his office and through the neighborhood.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Save Errol's Bakery



Beloved Errol's Bakery has been serving the Flatbush community for the last 15 years. On November 30th 2016, their lease expired. The owners, Dorothy and Errol Miller, are hoping that their landlord will renew their lease so they can stay at their current location at the corner of Hawthorne Street and Flatbush Avenue.

Due to gentrification, Flatbush is rapidly losing long-time small and family-owned businesses. This is why it is so important to support Errol's Bakery and other long-time small businesses in the area. Come out on December 17th from 3pm-5pm to show appreciation for the amazing Caribbean food and service that Errol's Bakery provides. Let's help ensure that Errol's Bakery is able to stay where it is and to thrive for many years to come!

For more info please contact Equality For Flatbush

Friday, October 21, 2016

Empty Chair Syndrome


"At an alarming and ever-increasing rate NYC has been losing its beloved retail, restaurants, art spaces, and other local institutions. Are we to look forward to a city filled only with chain stores, banks, and luxury boutiques?"

NY Council Member Robert E. Cornegy Jr. (the Chair of the Small Business Committee) was a no-show at last night's The Death (&Rebirth?) Of NYC's Mom-And-Pops forum, despite being scheduled to be a part of the discussion regarding the crisis-level issues facing small businesses in New York City.

Photo via Kirsten Theodos

Thursday, October 20, 2016

No Awards For Displacement


The Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network (BAN) is a people of color led, mass-based coalition of tenants, homeowners, block associations, anti-police brutality groups, legal and grassroots organizations working together to end the rampant gentrification and displacement of low to middle income residents of Brooklyn.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Give Small Businesses A Fighting Chance!


"When now-mayor de Blasio was a council member, he supported the SBJSA. Now, he won’t go near it. Same
goes for City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Councilman Brad Lander, and Public Advocate Tish James, 
all of whom supported the bill before they ascended to leadership positions." -Village Voice, September 30th 2016

Activists from the Artists Studio Affordability Project (ASAP), New Yorkers For A Human-Scale City, #SaveNYC, TakeBackNYC, and other groups stood in solidarity at a press conference on the steps of City Hall on Friday, September 30th to bring attention to the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA), and to call for the scheduling of a public hearing and vote on the legislation. Inside City Hall, the Committee On Small Business and the Subcommittee on Zoning & Franchise held a sham hearing on "Oversight - Zoning and incentives for promoting retail diversity and preserving neighborhood character."

Photograph by Ann McDermott

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Save Our Studio


"With your support, we can convince our government officials to use one of the surrounding, vacant
 and more fitting properties for the temporary construction staging. Using one of these alternative
 sites would not close small businesses or eliminate jobs, and would allow us to continue to
thrive in Gowanus." -Scott, Laura, and Chris, owners of Eastern Effects

In case you need a reminder of how twisted NYC's land-grab politics can get... The city is attempting to drive out a successful multimillion-dollar business that gainfully employs 230 people, bases all of its operations in Brooklyn, and partners with groups like the Made in NY PA Training Program to train local kids for jobs in the film and TV industry. They city is claiming Eminent Domain, despite the presence of three other suitable, vacant properties immediately surrounding the site. Oh yeah: Did I mention that Eastern currently has a 20-year lease? Suspicious yet?

Politicians talk a big game about "creating jobs" and attracting more TV and Film — an industry that, by the way, brings 8.7 billion dollars into the city, indirectly supports another 20,000 jobs, and is desperate for large, dedicated studio spaces exactly like the ones Eastern currently offers. But the reality is that, too often, viable businesses and community investment take a back seat to good old-fashioned real estate speculation.

The good news is, we can fight this. Right now. Please click the link here to read all
the details and sign the appropriate letter... You have until Tuesday, May 31st to help us.

Text by Leon Chase

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Join Together


If you're sick of watching New York City vanish and think you've got the chutzpah to do something about it, come to #‎SaveNYC's third Happy Hour Social and have drinks with your fellow community activists. Mix, mingle, and exchange ideas at long-standing Brooklyn staple, Cafe Steinhof (once called "the community center of the South Slope"). Help plan upcoming events and actions. Get involved!

Tuesday, April 5th at 6PM
Cafe Steinhof, 422 7th Avenue
Park Slope, Brooklyn

Friday, March 18, 2016

Let's Get Mad!


It's just about spring in NYC and #‎SaveNYC is getting ready for a new season of meeting, greeting, and sharing ideas for taking action to raise awareness and fight for the city's small businesses and cultural institutions.

Winter was tough on our small businesses. Now that the weather is getting better, let's get out there and take action. What do you want to see done? A party or a protest? A cash mob for your favorite struggling business? A cultural event like a reading or art show? You conceive it, put it out to our Facebook group for discussion and networking, and let's make it happen together.

#SaveNYC needs more photos and videos for our main site, and we want to see our sign all over town. We'll be putting out that call to action soon, so think of where you want to see our signs hanging, and what businesspeople you want to feature on film.

Let's get mad, take action, and #SaveNYC!

Text and photo by Jeremiah Moss