Over the next two Saturdays, two events in Harlem offer the opportunity for public participation.

The West Harlem Local Development Corporation is a group of community representatives, including local residents, businesses, elected officials and members of Community Board 9, that is negotiating the Community Benefits Agreement with Columbia University. This Saturday, June 14, they are hosting a community meeting, addressing the following:

  • Your priorities for community development
  • How will Columbia’s expansion plans affect you?
  • Learn about the LDC activities to date.

When: Sat., June 14, 10 am. Where: Manhattanville Community Center, 530 West 133rd Street

Next Saturday, June 21, the Harlem Tenants Council is sponsoring a rally against displacement and gentrification. More info from the organizers after the jump.

Time & Location: 10 AM – Main Gathering: Marcus Garvey Park: Enter at 124th and Fifth Avenue.

10 AM Feeder March in East Harlem: Gather at 116th & 3rd Avenue: northbound on Third Avenue to 125th Street. Proceed westbound on 125th to Madison Avenue southbound to 124th into Marcus Garvey Park at approximately 11 AM.

11 AM Main March begins: Leave Marcus Garvey at 124th and Madison Avenue northbound to 125th – proceed westbound to Broadway- northbound to 145th- eastbound to Frederick Douglass Blvd – southbound to 116th Street – westbound to Morningside Avenue to Morningside Park.

Route distance: approximately 70 blocks equivalent to 3 and ½ miles.

Sites to join march: 125th Street/Old Broadway; 135th Street/Broadway in front of 3333 Broadway; 145th Street & Broadway; 145th Street & Frederick Douglass; 135th & Frederick Douglass; 116th Street & Frederick Douglass Blvd.

2 PM: Rally begins in Morningside Park with speakers and performances.

Background: After decades of public policy neglect, redlining and disinvestment Harlem now stand at the brink of losing its historic status as Black America’s cultural Mecca for more than a century. Although development is a welcome relief from abandoned buildings, neglected open, few service amenities and crime the ‘revitalization’ of Harlem is displacing tenants, driving out local businesses and will impact Harlem’s ethnic, political and socio-economic makeup. Projected developments will create nearly 5,000 units of mostly luxury housing within Harlem’s 125th Street commercial corridor from river to river. The scheme includes high rise office tower, hotels and space for giant retails, in some cases with millions in public subsidies such as Columbia University, the city’s second largest landlord, that was given city streets, sidewalks and the below surface land.

Our Demands: Build and Preserve Low income housing; Protect Public Housing; Fund legal & anti-evictions services; Protect Local businesses: Re-establish Mart 125th for Local businesses & Street Merchants; Re-establish NYC Youth Boards for jobs for youth in crisis; Enforce Executive Order 50-provide equal access in construction industry jobs; No Eminent Domain; Moratorium on zoning/rezoning; Conflict of interest investigations on EIS Studies; Landmark & monument for African Burial Ground in East Harlem; No skyscrapers in Harlem; Landmark historic resources in Harlem; and inclusion of local community as vital stakeholders in a transparent and accountable public review process on development.

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