Meeting December 9, 2017 at 269 Empire
Present: Alicia B. from Sterling, Janine N. from Stoddard, Chelsea, Leo, Teresa, Lesia, Gregor, Camille, Marlene
- There is concern about Empire Boulevard. It is a hotly contested block and there has already been a lot of activism around it, so activists want to make sure we know the history and what is ongoing.
- Empire Study Group – residents in the area that worked together with a professor from Hunter College.
Immediate areas for concern
Empire Study Group, presented by Janine (document here)
- Petition drive about armory and elected CB09/ULRP officials
- Outlined their issues/cases with Musa Moore head of CB09 and Michael Libburd, head of ULURP – Court case on Jan. 11 2018
- They warned us to not ask for rezoning studies. The city pounces on them.
- The neighborhood has been targeted as a real estate opportunity
- They made a request for solidarity in protests, demonstrations, petition drive, shadow studies, etc.
- Janine and Alicia give history of development battles regarding Botanic Garden, Empire Blvd, surrounding areas
- They advised that people apply to be a CB09 member in order to vote on issues
- Resources: BAN – Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network and Equality for Flatbush have lawyers and assistance for evictions
- New legislation from the city was passed to provide lawyers for housing court
- There is a new apartment building being built on corner of Empire and Rogers.
- An initiative to pass a bill to allow storefronts to negotiate their leases (has been in court for 10 years) Small Business Jobs Survival Act, Alicia
- Manhattan Borough President proposed fines for empty storefronts– Camille
- Monday, 11 December 2017 at 5:30 at PS 241 at 976 President St. (between Franklin & Washington) Forum on Immigration hosted by BAJI at PS 241 – Camille
People with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) are going to be deported by 2019. We have a large Haitian community on and around Empire who will be affected, and we should see what we can do to be in solidarity with them. (CA update there will be another gathering on Saturday, contact Jory at HAUP: Haitians United for Progress for more information)
- Is anyone missing a cat? Lesia has her at 270
- The Brooklyn Center for Sacred Activism has regular gatherings and meditation at 269. You can find more on their Facebook page or talk to Leo or Chelsea – Chelsea
Report back on post office on Empire
- A lot of frustration expressed at the hearing.
- There is a negative culture at this location
- A lot of truck traffic, the Amazon deal means they deliver every day.
- We will follow up with the coordinator and report back again
- We attended a session organized through Sen. Hamilton’s office
- We are going to apply to get startup money for ANEW. Local activist Pia Raymond has a session at the Crown Heights Library on 19 December for assistance to anyone applying for the grant. We could use help if anyone has time or knows about grants.
- Alicia and Janine mentioned that Hamilton’s office can give us a list of neighborhood churches and that there is a lot of space in the neighborhood available to meet for free or cheap.
What else do we want to discuss?
- We would like to learn more about mutual aid in the neighborhood. How can we be of service to each other? – Leo
- There is confusion amongst neighbors about Lefferts Community Food Coop. It feels exclusive to many people and also it is unclear to many people that it is a grocery store, because it doesn’t look like one. How can this more empowering for the community?
- Can the co-op offer two-tiered pricing so it is still open to all?
- Can the co-op share more about how it is competitive against other grocery stores?