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Dear City Councilmembers, Borough Presidents, and Public Advocate: 

I urge you to oppose the Governors Island zoning proposal: it effectively privatizes 33 public acres and is just too big and too extreme. It is unnecessary and does more harm than good. Better alternatives exist that could generate revenue with the existing stock of buildings while doing less harm to the National Historic District and to the function of the island as a calm respite from the city. 

I also join with the undersigned in supporting the Community Declaration on the Future of New York In that spirit, I urge you to vote against the ill-conceived zoning proposals for SoHo, NoHo, Gowanus, and the Seaport. In the Seaport, the breaking of the historic district would be a great tragedy. And in the other neighborhoods, communities have presented legitimate alternatives that are far better than the developer-oriented plans



We, the undersigned, demand an end to the destructive up-zonings, the seizure of public spaces for private gain (including public housing), and the excessive influence of real estate on our city government. We demand reform of the fake community consultations on zoning that serve only to sideline true debate and dissent. We are outraged by the racist displacement of working-class people and small businesses and deplore the excessive demolition of our city that Mayor de Blasio’s affordable housing policy imposes. We insist upon a new framework for affordable housing that is free of the negative effects of the current policy.

Elected officials and candidates should:

1. Stop all rezonings – be they neighborhood-wide or “spot” – that allow more luxury high rises and condos to be built. This trickle-down approach to housing only serves to displace residents and small businesses, over-scale our neighborhoods, strain our underfunded public infrastructure and take away our sunlight. It renders our communities unaffordable and alters the places that we call home in ways that make them unrecognizable.

2. Reject the housing policy that is based on enormous giveaways to luxury real estate developers in exchange for a small percentage of dubiously named “affordable” housing. Stop the use of “affordable” as a safe word to justify towerization or as a substitute for real, multi-generational affordability for low-income people.

3. Reinvent the rigged land-use process to allow for legitimate community-led planning instead of imposing “done deal” developments. No land-use review process should be allowed to use “virtual” meetings – such as Zoom – as a substitute for public hearings.

4. End the reckless conversion of still useful manufacturing space into gentrified housing.

The Undersigned (list still in formation),


Art Against Displacement
29th Street Association
Artist Studio Affordability Project
Artists Alliance Inc.
Astoria Tenant Union
Bed-Stuy Tenant Union
Bowery Alliance of Neighbors
Bronx Arts Initiative
Canal Street Research Association
Chinatown Working Group
Civic Gaps
CPW Neighbors Association
Committee for Environmentally Sound Development
Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side
CORD/Carroll Gardens Coalition for Respectful Development
East River Park Action
East Village Mutual Aid
Flower Lovers Against Corruption and Movement to Protect the People
Flushing Workers Center
Fort Tryon East Neighborhood Association
Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus FROGG
Friends of the South Street Seaport
Human-scale NYC (aka, Alliance for a Human-Scale City)
Holmes-Isaacs Coalition
Inwood Preservation
Justice for All Coalition
Lower East Side Dwellers
Lower Seaman Tenants Association
Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Assn.
Metro Area Governors Island Coalition (MAGIC)
Mexicanos Unidos
Mi Casa Resiste
MinKwon Center
Moving Forward Unidos
NoHo Neighborhood Association
Not One More Block
Orchard Street Block Association
Preserve Our Brooklyn Neighborhoods
Preserve BAMs Historic District
Protect Sunset Park
Respect Brooklyn
Save Cortelyou
Seaport Coalition
Sixth Street Community Center
Stop Irresponsible Frick Development
Sunrise Movement NYC
Sustainable Williamsburg
Society for Clinton Hill
SoHo Alliance
South Village Neighbors
Stop Irresponsible Frick Development
Stop REBNY Bullies
Stop Sunnyside Yards
The Church of Stop Shopping
Voice of Gowanus
Washington Street Advocacy Group
Western Queens Community Land Trust
Perfect City

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    New York City Council, Mayor,  Borough Presidents and Public Advocate