Next Steps… Announcing the March to Save the Lower East Side

December 16, 2018

Dear New Yorkers,

Thank you to all who attended The Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side’s Two Bridges Two Hall! We thank you for taking the time to learn more about the LESON strategy and how we are working with the Asian American Legal Defense Fund (AALDEF) in stopping these illegal towers from being built. 

To all our neighbors who are terrified and angered by the negative impacts of these 4 illegal mega towers – YOU HAVE THE POWER TO STOP THEM! Our community is coming together and we invite you to be part of the effort to stop this crazy over-development from destroying the neighborhood.
To all of our friends throughout NYC, we stand in solidarity and support your battles. Thank you to those who attended our event to share your stories and to show your support.

We know that our fight against these proposed illegal megatowers is no different than the multiple fights being battled across NYC as Mayor de Blasio’s administration continues to act against working people in approving Citywide rezonings that enrich real estate developers over communities, selling and privatizing NYCHA and other public resources and giving tax subsidies to billionaire companies like Amazon rather than the people he swore to serve.

So what do we do now, what can we do together?

We need join forces and stand in solidarity against the gentrifier-in-chief Mayor and let him know, WE WILL NOT BE MOVED! The lawsuit against the towers will only be successful if  the community stands strong and united so that the powers that be have to back off. 

NOW is the moment to build up the community power. Join us and march to save the Lower East Side from de Blasio’s displacement agenda.

When: January 21st (MLK Day), 12 noon
Where: Pike and Cherry Streets, Lower East Side
How: Spread the flyer for the march in your schools, workplaces, community organizations, and local small businesses

Join us for a meeting to plan the march on Thursday, December 27 – 6pm @ 345 Grand Street, NY NY

In solidarity,
The Coalition to Protect Chinatown and LES
(212) 358-0295

Two Bridges Town Hall, 12/12/18 @ 6PM

image courtesy of the Municipal Art Society of New York
The plan for new skyscrapers in Two Bridges passed the City Planning Commission in a 10-3 vote on 12/5/18.
This is the latest example of how Mayor de Blasio and his agencies blatantly violate their own law* and ignore community opposition in the interest of big developers. From Amazon to pro-developer rezonings to jail proposals, we have seen again and again the Mayor’s intention to destroy the city that we love.
But momentum has been building and now is the time to fight back – it’s not too late!
Please join us for a Two Bridges TOWN HALL to learn how to fight against these towers!
Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side
When: Dec 12, Wednesday at 6pm
Where: P.S. 2, 122 Henry St (at Pike St)


*Despite being approved by the City Planning Commission, these towers are ILLEGAL.
CPC Chair Marisa Lago said before her vote in favor of the application that legally the minor modification meets the conditions of the current zoning regulations.
But the proposed site for development is a
Large Scale Residential Development (LSRD), governed by Zoning Resolution Article 7, Chapter 8. There is no need for a full ULURP since these towers violate the existing zoning. The Zoning Resolution governing the LSRD requires that any proposed development get a special permit from the City before construction begin. The development would be approved only if it will:
1. Not interfere with the character of the neighborhood
2. Not restrict light and air or privacy
3. Not Introduce detrimental building bulk
4. Not create traffic congestion
5. Serve a public need
6. Lead to better site planning
The proposed development does not meet any of these requirements!
For additional information
Youth Against Displacement
Art Against Displacement

Yes We Did It!

Dear Friends and Supporters,
Through years of organizing and struggle, the Bowery tenants were finally able to sign an agreement with landlord Joseph Betesh. This is an unprecedented agreement that sets in stone items like: guaranteed deadline of August 31st with penalty on landlord if passed; guaranteed hotel stay paid by the landlord throughout the repair; rent-stabilized leases; compensation for property damages, loss of rooms and lawyer’s fee; no rent increase for repairs.
It is a stunning accomplishment, and it could have not been achieved without the support of the community, and that includes you. It shows the people united will never be defeated. However, we should not forget the years of suffering the tenants had to go through; it could have been avoided had Mayor Bill de Blasio adopted the Chinatown Working Group rezoning plan to protect the community.

Hunger Strike on City Hall!

The tenants of 85 Bowery, who have been kept out of their homes for months by their landlord and the City, are resuming a hunger strike on May 30th to demand Mayor Bill de Blasio stop colluding with landlords and developers.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! New Yorkers are fed up with Mayor de Blasio’s collusion with landlords and developers that force tenants out and displace communities across the city. The Bowery tenants refuse to be victims. They are fighting to go back home and taking the lead to put an end to de Blasio’s displacement agenda.

The tenants and supporters demand Mayor de Blasio:

  • Guarantee on paper a deadline by which the tenants can return home
  • Stop having City agencies evict tenants on behalf of landlord
  • End his pro-developer displacement agenda instead, pass community-led rezoning plans like the Chinatown Working Group plan.

We call on organizations to join and help turn the tide of displacement; and to call, for community-led rezoning that is for working people, and by working people.


The Villager: Chin Is Developers Doormat, Must Step Down

BY KARI LINDBERG | The monthly protest led by the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side was held once again on Wed., April 26 — and this time its target was City Councilmember Margaret Chin.

While the group’s previous demonstrations have been held in front of City Hall, the location was now moved across the street, directly in front of the offices of New York City councilmembers at 250 Broadway.

Read the whole article from The Villager >>



Councilwoman Margaret Chin, Step Down!

Wednesday, April 26, 3:30 p.m.
Rally in front of Margaret Chin’s office, 250 Broadway


Has the Extell construction affected your health or your apartment? Worried about being displaced?
Tired of Margaret Chin colluding with developers to destroy our neighborhood?

Instead of protecting Chinatown and the Lower East Side, Council Member Margaret Chin has colluded with developers, Sheldon Silver and Mayor de Blasio to destroy our homes and community. Because Chin is blocking the community-led Chinatown Working Group Rezoning Plan which would put height limits on new developments, luxury condos like Extell and the JDS tower will be built everywhere in our community.

Chin uses ploys like public hearings, task forces, a Chinatown-only rezoning plan to divide us and promote racism. She held two meetings about the EIS process on the waterfront–all a phony show right before the elections. She is pushing a rezoning plan for a tiny part of Chinatown that excludes Latinos and African-Americans and the waterfront from protection. Her plan pits Chinese, Blacks and Latinos against one another, and benefits luxury developers. Also, Chin and de Blasio are working to privatize and sell NYCHA off to developers and banks, encouraging private, luxury development on the property of La Guardia and Smith.

The community’s CWG Plan that Chin rejects would protect Chinatown & the Lower East Side from displacement, putting height caps on new developments and requiring that any housing built on NYCHA land be 100% low-income.

Let’s protest at Margaret Chin’s office and demand that she step down now!

Wednesday, April 26, 3:30 p.m.
In front of Margaret Chin’s office, 250 Broadway

If you want to protect your home and our community, we urge you, your family, your friends to join us! Let’s discuss and plan together. Call the Coalition to Protect Chinatown & the Lower East Side, c/o NMASS at 212-358-0295.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Protest

No to Racism! Fight for Equal Protection!

On January 16th the Citywide Alliance Against Displacement is holding a rally at City Hall to reclaim Martin Luther King Jr. Day for genuine anti-racist work in our communities. Martin Luther King Jr. fought against the injustice of racism and poverty all over this country, and stated that “the inseparable twin of racial injustice was economic injustice”. We are reclaiming this day as a day to commemorate the history of civil rights and the fight against racism and displacement. We see the need to fight the same patterns of racism and economic injustice in our city today and for real social transformation for the people, by the people.

Right now, our city is facing a crisis of displacement as ever-increasing numbers of people are being forced out of their homes and communities and the homeless population reaches record highs. Through pro-developer zoning policies, Mayor de Blasio has encouraged luxury developments in communities of color like Harlem, Williamsburg, the Lower East Side and Chinatown, causing high rents and real estate tax increases in these neighborhoods. As a result, tenants face evictions, small businesses are closed, jobs are lost, and the culture and uniqueness of each of these communities is completely erased.

Mayor de Blasio, the so-called “progressive” mayor who vowed to end “the tale of two cities,” nevertheless helps perpetuate the City’s legacy of racism and displacement. On the one hand, he refuses to pass community-led rezoning plans like the Chinatown Working Group rezoning plan that will protect the whole community of Chinatown and the Lower East Side; on the other hand, he imposes his developer-friendly rezoning proposals in neighborhoods like East Harlem, the South Bronx, East New York, Inwood and Flushing, despite overwhelming opposition to the Mayor’s plan (over 90% of the city’s Community Boards voted against it). But the Mayor continues to push forward racist rezonings claiming he is advancing integration. But how is it “integration” when in fact, rich people move in, while working families and people of color are forced to move out?

Additionally, Mayor de Blasio is under investigation for his ties to the real estate industry and “pay to play” accusations. As numerous front-page stories have shown, the Mayor has hired real estate company staffers to formulate his housing policy, and given enormous power to people with close ties to developers and Wall Street firms. Therefore, it is not surprising that his housing plan reads like the real estate lobby’s wish list. The investigations of the de Blasio administration has revealed a dangerous disregard for our communities and preference for developers who would displace us all.

Despite the clear record of racism and corruption, Mayor de Blasio has recently been trying to mend his tattered image by claiming he will protect immigrants and people of color from Donald Trump’s presidency. Whereas Donald Trump’s presidential campaign revealed his openly racist and deeply oppressive beliefs toward many groups of people, Mayor de Blasio is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Just how does Mayor de Blasio intends to protect communities of color and immigrants when he is destroying the very foundation of these communities through his racist rezoning policy? Displacement destroys the very fabric of our communities: the place where we live, work, go to school, become friends with our neighbors, own small businesses, disagree with each other, share histories with each other and grow and build a community together with its own unique culture and people. It is clear that, rather than genuinely fighting racism, Mayor de Blasio is actually promoting racism while exploiting the Trump victory for his own political aspirations.

The Citywide Alliance Against displacement feels an urgent need to reclaim Martin Luther King Jr. from politicians like Mayor de Blasio and those elected officials who stand along with him to push for displacement; they turn around and seek to use celebrations on this day as a fig leaf for their own racist policies. The legacy of Civil Rights should be one of ordinary people standing against injustice and racism, but the hypocritical stance of politicians and their puppets on this day has corrupted that legacy. Would Martin Luther King Jr. support so-called “progressive” politicians who are perpetuating racism and displacing communities of color? No. He would stand with people fighting against those policies. We are calling on people around the city to join us in reclaiming MLK day. We will work together to form an alliance of people around the five boroughs who have a vision for justice and equality for New York City. We want an end to racism and displacement, and it is up to us to do it.

Join us to demand:

  1. End racism in city planning. Pass community-based “People First” plans like the Chinatown Working Group rezoning plan.
  2. End public funding for luxury development, such as 421-a. Instead, use public resources to preserve and build more permanent low-income housing.
  3. Stop privatization of public land and assets.
  4. Mayor de Blasio and those in City Council who also collude with developers to step down.