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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

Save Our Supermarket!

"This supermarket is an important source of affordable groceries for the residents
of Chelsea and Greenwich Village. Join us on Sunday as we call on the landlord to
negotiate in good faith and preserve a vital source of affordable groceries."

Stand in solidarity with residents of Chelsea and Greenwich Village in their fight to save the Associated Supermarket this Sunday, March 13th at 255 West 14th Street. Bring your #SaveNYC signs and remind those in power that the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (File #: Int 0402-2014) is the only legislation which will give businesses a real fighting chance against gluttonous landlords and developers!

Irresponsible Development

"It's outrageous that this work would be done, particularly with no permits. The building is 
historic, it's beautiful and it should be saved." -Jimmy Van Bramer, NYC City Council

The Elks Lodge on 44th Drive in Long Island City, Queens was built in 1907. It is an architecturally distinctive structure in a quickly homogenizing area and represents a part of LIC that is being swept away by the rapid development. It was recently discovered that the building was sold off to developer ‎Alwest Equities and slated for demolition in order to make way for new condominiums. The development of a neighborhood requires a vision for a future that plans responsibly and sustainably; but it also requires respect for its past and protections for its community. The Elks Lodge represents a cornerstone of that past, and can easily be repurposed to serve the community into the future.

From the extreme stress placed on the transit system and the shortage of schools to protection for the arts and lack of a community center, the protection of the Elks Lodge is the key to a larger conversation about development decisions that include the interests of the community — not just the interests of wealthy developers who see the neighborhood in $$$/sq ft. Many Long Island City (and Queens overall) residents oppose the planned demolition and immediately took action. The community called for an emergency meeting, put together a petition, and contacted local councilmen Jimmy Van Bramer. Yesterday, the police shut down the demolition. NYC Department of Buildings was on site because it turns out no permits were issued, and the developer was setting up illegally, removing parts of the facade without any protection to pedestrians or workers.

For more information on how to help, email the Court Square Civic Association

Photography by Orestes Gonzalez © 2016

This Is New York

"There is no logic that can be superimposed on the city; people make it, and it
is to them, not buildings, that we must fit our plans." -Jane Jacobs

#SaveNYC is very honored to receive the award for 'Outstanding Achievement In Support of NYC Preservation' at this year's The Guides Association of New York City's GANYC Apple Awards. The awards ceremony was held on Monday, March 7th at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space. GANYC honored thirteen organizations and people with 2016 Apple Awards for encouraging and promoting NYC tourism, culture and preservation while supporting the work and contributions of professional tourist guides.

Time For Action

"[NYC's] great property values make it more attractive for some to speculate – often meaning ousting small business that helped build that value. Each month, an average of 491 NYC small businesses are evicted. Commercial rents are skyrocketing, and all over the city, mom and pops have closed, replaced by banks and chain stores.

The speculation results in entrepreneurs losing their dream, their livelihood, and for residents, shuttered neighborhood favorites. Mom and pops and professionals are the lifeblood of our communities. They are a stepladder to a better life, and provide habitability and services.

NYC Council Members do not have easy jobs with a fickle public: But if they could hammer out passage of the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, they could save the city. "

Text excerpted from Noble Work by Patricia Dorfman,
director of the Sunnyside Chamber Of Commerce

Affordable For Who?

The Mayor's housing plan leaves behind the New York's most vulnerable: Under the current plan, over 1/3rd of NYC households are too poor to afford the Mayor's "low-income" housing. Fast-food worker and homecare worker will not be able to afford the vast majority of apartments under this plan, and because the plan does not include labor standards to protect good union jobs, the New Yorkers who build the Mayor's "affordable housing" won't be able to afford it! Too many families will be at risk of displacement and homelessness unless the city figures out a plan to create truly affordable housing. Join Real Affordability For All and other community activists on Tuesday, February 23rd at 10:30AM in City Hall Park to ask the Mayor, "affordable for who?"

One Size Does Not Fit All!

"Zoning for Quality & Affordability (ZQA) is a wholesale upzoning of the entire city, and will not guarantee either goal of affordability or quality. There is no panacea for NYC’s affordable housing crisis, and ZQA is not even a cure for its symptoms. Rather, it seems that ZQA is a concession to developers to sweeten Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH), the only part of this proposal which might actually provide “affordable” units. ZQA loosens the entire city’s existing zoning to allow greater density for market-rate development, under the guise of creating affordable units, which, as we all know, is optional... This upzoning amendment raises height limits and diminishes yard requirements across the city according to a mathematical nicety, without examining the built fabric of our city’s neighborhoods. Contextual zones came to fruition after years of effort by community-driven, carefully examined, neighborhood-specific studies. NYC thrives because of the diversity of its neighborhoods, yet this proposal’s approach will deal with each neighborhood as the same, with a one-size-fits-all approach."

Whether his heart is in the right place or not, the concessions Mayor de Blasio is making to the real estate industry in an effort to create what amounts to not enough affordable housing units, at a truly affordable rate, is incredibly troubling. The re-zoning and up-zoning will enable developers to reshape and rebrand neighborhoods, which will in turn skyrocket rents, making entire areas unaffordable to the average New Yorker.

The public hearing on Zoning for Quality & Affordability and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing is February 9th and February 10th (at 9:30AM both days). Join activists from across the five boroughs at City Hall (between Broadway, Park Row, and Chambers Street) and tell the NYC City Council that New Yorkers deserve affordable housing without upzoning the entire city.

If you can't make the hearings, the Historic Districts Council and Greenwich Village Society For Historic
Preservation have made it easy to send letters to the entire City Council: HDC letter | GVSHP letter.

Abridged quote from the Historic Districts Council Statement to NYC City Council on ZQA/MIH.

A Tale of Two Cities

Keep the pressure on... Join us for "The People's Response to the State of the City" and speak on topics such as the destruction and displacement of our communities for big business and real estate interests!

Alliance Against Displacement

“From all across the city, we’re concerned about displacement and we’re concerned about the mayor’s development policies. We’re here today to say that his complete development policy is a complete sham. It’s not building more affordable housing — it’s actually leading to more displacement and gentrification in the most vulnerable communities.” -David Tieu, Coalition To Protect Chinatown And The Lower East Side

On January 21st dedicated activists from a handful of community groups (organized by the Citywide Alliance Against Displacement) braved the cold to protest the Real Estate Board Of New York outside their 120th Annual Banquet, which was attended by members of City Hall including Bill de Blasio and Melissa Mark-Viverito. The gathered activists stood to denounce the underhanded deals between developers and NYC elected officials who receive large campaign contributions from them. The protestors called for a rejection of Mayor de Blasio’s zoning plan which they say promotes luxury development, pushing out local businesses and services, displacing more people of color and working families, and eliminating more affordable units than it claims to create.

Photography by BERodriguez © 2016
Quote from the Commercial Observer

Take Back Our City!

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), a notorious culprit responsible for luxury development and displacement in New York City, will be holding their 120th Annual Banquet on Thursday, January 21st. The banquet is expected to be well attended by members of City Hall, including "Mayor of Two Cities," Bill de Blasio himself. REBNY has found Mayor de Blasio's administration to be "an open door," while over the past two years, the people of New York City have found Mayor de Blasio to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

We denounce the underhanded deals between developers and NYC elected officials who receive large campaign contributions from them. We reject Mayor de Blasio’s zoning plan for NYC that promotes luxury development, pushing out our local businesses and services, displacing more people of color and working families, and eliminating more affordable units than it claims to create. We call on all New Yorkers to join in a grassroots alliance to stop Mayor de Blasio’s developer-led zoning plans, and demand a People First plan for our communities that will protect us against displacement.

Event organized by Citywide Alliance Against Displacement