For Immediate Release – August 28, 2014
Contact: Alvaro Franco, (646) 542-9538
Bronx tenants in Kingsbridge Heights meet to organize against rent hikes and gentrification
Bronx, New York - On Thursday night, August 14, members of a newly formed tenants association held a second meeting with support from the People Power Movement-Movimiento Poder Popular (PPM-MPP) to discuss their strategy to fight a proposed rent increase at 2800 University Avenue that would attack the building’s working-class residents. The landlord’s application for a Major Capital Improvement (MCI) rent increase attempts to justify a permanent rent hike on the basis of repairs, but many doubt the repairs will benefit the entire building.
At Thursday’s meeting, Maria Maldonado, president of the tenant association and longtime resident of 2800 University Avenue, and Jay Espy, a PPM-MPP organizer who grew up in the building, facilitated the discussion among 20 tenants in attendance. During the meeting, tenants raised concerns about much-needed repairs and safety violations that the landlord has failed to address in the building. They also strategized with organizers about taking collective actions to stop the unfair MCI rent increase.
“We can’t trust the Democrats, and we can’t trust the Republicans. The only people we can trust is ourselves,” said Espy, explaining that neither Democratic nor Republican mayors have prevented rent hikes that harm so many poor and working class New Yorkers. He placed the MCI rent increase in his building within the context of city-wide gentrification, a process that displaces working-class people of color from their communities.
Additionally, Espy blamed the redevelopment of the nearby Kingsbridge Armory into the world’s largest ice skating rink, a project that has already enticed landlords in the area to raise rent for small business owners and tenants on Kingsbridge Road. As a result, Espy encouraged the tenants to unify and organize themselves to take collective action instead of relying on politicians and landlords who do not share their interests.
Espinosa’s words resonated with the other tenants at the meeting. Sharon Cooper, vice president of the tenant association and also a long-time resident in 1978, captured the mood of the evening: “My grandmother always said: ‘united we stand, divided we fall.”
The People Power Movement-Movimiento Poder Popular is a democratic people’s organization dedicated to educating, agitating, and organizing for Popular Control of our schools, workplaces, housing, transportation, policing, levels of government, and all areas that affect our lives, to achieve Fundamental Social Change. PPM-MPP identifies with the interests and aspirations of poor and working people and considers the anti-racist struggle central in our efforts to obtain a humane society. PPM-MPP is currently involved in tenant organizing, as well as organizing students in New York City public schools and colleges. For more information on PPM-MPP, go to https://www.facebook.com/2011PeoplePower or http://peoplepowermovement.tumblr.com/
Also read about us on the Riverdale Press: Kingsbridge Ice Center said to cause rent hikes
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Keep up the good work!
thanks! if you or anyone else want to get involved, contact us! or organize in your communities and build a movement!
I do feel there is a preoccupation with that. The preoccupation with transition and surgery objectifies trans people. And then we don’t get to really deal with the real lived experiences. The reality of trans peoples’ lives is that so often we are targets of violence. We experience discrimination disproportionately to the rest of the community. Our unemployment rate is twice the national average; if you are a trans person of color, that rate is four times the national average. The homicide rate is highest among trans women. If we focus on transition, we don’t actually get to talk about those things… By focusing on bodies we don’t focus on the lived realities of that oppression and that discrimination.”—
trizzytrez said: I am a current student of Clark Atlanta University which is apart Atlanta University Center which is also consist of Morehouse College and Spelman College. We are planning to take buses to Ferguson, MO. Currently we are trying to acquire donations for transportation and aiding the protesters/residents. We as young black students are taught in our classes everyday how our ancestors fought for us and now we have to fight for our next generation please share a link for us
Of course I would share the link. I will support and help you connect with the people you need to be connecting with. Direct me to the link, or if you already posted it on your page.
Anyone else in Ferguson or going, please contact me on twitter @zellieimani
We can’t let the movement die.
blackhistoryalbum: HOG WILD | 1918 1918 photograph of Vernon Coffey and Virgil McNeal in France - 806th Pioneer Infantry Regiment, 2nd Army, AEF. (National WWI Museum)Via Black History Album on Pinterest
Filmmaker Chinonye Chuckwu’s releases trailer for powerful new film ‘A Long Walk’.
"A father humiliates his son by parading him through the neighborhood in women’s clothing in front of all the other kids on a summer day. The impact of that decision ripples through his family and best friend’s lives for years to come.
This story is based on true events.”
These events are based on the real life story of writer Samuel Autman whose manuscript-in-the-works, Sanctified: A Memoir detailed the following:
When I was ten years old in the summer of 1977, I was standing outside in St. Louis playing Nerf football in the streets with other neighborhood boys when we heard the loud thud of a door slam.
Our game stopped. We all looked up to see Steve, a kid who was eight or nine years old, being pulled by the arm, out of the house by his father.
Steve’s dad had caught him applying makeup and lipstick on his face. Too punish him, paraded Steve through the neighborhood wearing an oversized dress, high heels, a turban and a carrying a gigantic purse. His dad followed him with a belt dangling from his fist.
"You want to be a f******* girl?" His father screamed. "I’ll make you a f******* girl!"
“I’m sorry daddy, I won’t do it again. Please don’t make me do this,” the boy begged.
His father ignored those pleas. For the next fifteen minutes, he dragged Steve around our big city block as neighborhood kids teased and mocked him. Never had I send anything more humiliating. Although I cringed, I was among the hecklers — not my greatest childhood moment.
Steve would have had reason to feel betrayed by because when the other boys weren’t around, we talked about TV shows starring women like Get Christie Love, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, and Wonder Woman, to name a few.
As we all followed them around the block, it became less. His tears mixed with makeup and lipstick stained the dress.
'A Long Walk' has so far been screened at the Cleveland International Film Festival, Athens International FIlm and Video Festival and the Florida Film Festival.
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