For Immediate Release
August 14, 2007
HUNDREDS OF BUSHWICK RESIDENTS RALLY TO "SAY NO!" TO GENTRIFICATION
Neighborhood youth and their families express support for affordable housing development and incentives for small landlords to maintain buildings in good repair among other anti-displacement measures.
Following months of research into the phenomenon of gentrification in the Bushwick community of Brooklyn, members of the Youth Power Project at Make the Road by Walking, ages 14 to 21, will rally, together with their neighbors and families, to unveil their vision for possible strategies to avoid displacement of current community residents.
At least 300 people are expected to attend the event, which will feature guest performances, and statements by youth leaders and area tenants who have experienced landlord harassment and very severe housing code violations which often go unaddressed for years, imperiling the health of the children and adults who live in these apartments.
The event is important evidence that young people in low-income communities like Bushwick care about their neighborhoods and are willing to dedicate time and energy to securing their communitys future.
This is our neighborhood, and we deserve to make sure our families have a future here, said Giovanni Matos, 19, a member of the Youth Power Project who helped to organize the event.
Bushwick, which has been featured repeatedly in media outlets such as the New York Times as the next up and coming hipster New York City neighborhood, experiences high volumes of renter displacement. According to event organizers, landlords often harass tenants or fail to make critical repairs in order to force them out, enabling the landlords to renovate the apartments and charge higher rents to incoming, higher-income, primarily white renters. In recent years, an influx of luxury condo developments in the community, often built with government subsidies, exacerbate the problem.
Where we used to have bodegas and rice & beans restaurants, were now seeing wine bars and luxury condos, said Jose Lopez, 21, an organizer with the Youth Power Project. We need the city to support a plan now, that helps current residents of our community be able to continue to live and work here.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
358 Grove Street, near Myrtle Avenue, Bushwick, Brooklyn