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  • With Clock Ticking, East New York Negotiations to Heat Up

    espinal east new york hearing

    City Council Member Espinal (photo: William Alatriste) 


    With only two weeks left for the City Council to vote on the proposed rezoning of East New York, all eyes are on City Council Member Rafael Espinal, who is leading negotiations with the de Blasio administration and whose approval of a revised plan will determine its fate. Espinal has promised significant improvements to the plan put forward by the city and community organizers and

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  • Wary of Gentrification, East Harlem Braces for Rapid Change

    east harlem mural

    Hank Prussing's mural, The Spirit of East Harlem (via @ManhattanCB11)


    Pearl Barkley moved to East Harlem in the 1950s, when she was six years old. Her family lived in the Jefferson Houses on 115th Street, where she lives today and works as an organizer with Community Voices Heard, an economic justice advocacy non-profit.

    “Many people remember the fires, the abandoned boarded up buildings, and the people who left,” Barkley said in an interview. Essential services began disappearing from the

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  • Wary of Gentrification, East Harlem Braces for Change

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     Mark-Viverito at an East Harlem planning session (photo: William Alatriste)


    CONTINUED from page 1 - this is page 2 of 2

    Community calls for community planning
    City officials have not yet presented a timeline, much less a plan, for rezoning East Harlem, but that hasn’t stopped residents from preemptively organizing against “upzoning” that they believe will accelerate displacement of

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 21

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week will be another busy one when it comes to budgets: the City Council continues its preliminary budget hearings and state budget negotiations enter their final ten days - a state budget is due by April 1 and some say a deal could be announced before the end of this week. Don't count on it, though, state budgets usually come in just before (or, as was the case last year, just after) the March 31 midnight

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  • Hope Knight to Join City Planning Commission at 'Exciting Time'

    hope knight city planning

    Hope Knight (photo via @rorylancman)


    "It's an exciting time to be joining the City Planning Commission," City Council Member Brad Lander said Tuesday to Hope Knight, a mayoral nominee to the commission at the nexus of controversial housing-related policy being pursued by the de Blasio administration.

    "It's a tough time to be joining," Knight said during her appearance in front of Lander's committee, which is tasked with vetting potential appointees to several commissions. Knight, who is all but sure to be approved Wednesday by the

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 30

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    After a quiet Thanksgiving weekend, New York politics springs back into action Monday. As the week gets going we're watching as discussions continue around the mayor's rezoning policies, which have been seeing some significant pushback from community and borough boards.

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  • Mayor and Speaker: Rezoning Plans Will Change Before Council Vote

    mmv bdb via city council twitter

    The Speaker & the Mayor (photo via the City Council)


    Speaking at separate events over a two-day span, both Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito acknowledged significant community pushback against the mayor's rezoning proposals and said that those plans will be tweaked before the Council votes on them.

    On Monday, de Blasio was asked about the largely negative reaction across the city to the zoning

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  • De Blasio Housing Chief Looks to Allay Fears, Build Support for Rezonings

    Been NY Law School

    New York Law School's Ross Sandler & HPD's Vicki Been (Phoebe Rosen for NYLS)


    Vicki Been, commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, said that the city’s affordable housing plan is on track and responded to critics on Friday, emphasizing that the plan is less about simply building units and more about “making neighborhoods better.”

    Speaking at a breakfast hosted by the CityLand publication of New York Law School, Been gave a balanced, thorough

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  • East Harlem Tenants Group Rejects De Blasio Housing Plan, Offers Its Own

    East-HarlemMovement

    A Movement for Justice in El Barrio rally


    An East Harlem tenants group is gearing up to battle Mayor Bill de Blasio over his housing plan, saying that the plan will see local mom-and-pop stores bought out by chains, further incentivize landlords to push tenants out, and destroy the culture of Spanish Harlem.

    The group, Movement for Justice in El Barrio, is countering the de Blasio rezoning proposal that they call a "luxury housing plan" with a 10-point agenda of its own designed to preserve current housing stock and protect the community from gentrification. It

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