East Harlem gets even more Trash from City Politicians

East Harlem has too much of a burden when it comes to NYC Trash.

The Department of Sanitation’s proposal to build a second, cheap, open air parking lot for their trucks in our community.  North East Harlem already houses, the M10 – Department of Sanitation’s CB10 – Garage  (East Harlem is CB11 ).

The City Council Speaker wants to move the existing trucks and associated toxic air & fueling station to 127th street between 2nd and 3rd avenue.

  • Right next to the proposed African America Burial Site Memorial.
  • Right next to the proposed Proton Beam Cancer Treatment Hospital.
  • Right next to Kings Academy School (Nursery – Grade 12 ).
  • Right next to Public School 138.
  • Right next to River Side Park Field (Home of the Harlem Jets)

I know, I thought the same thing “Really?!?!?”

Well if we have to bare the burden of CB10’s Garage, the DOS will at least give the community a structure equal to the one the department recently built and spoke so highly of in Tribeca, right?…..Right?  ???????

Check out how Down Town ( Voters with money ) gets treated when they deal with the Department of Sanitation in this link. ( click it )

But the proposals that North East Harlem gets is an open air gated area with prison like fencing surrounding the property…. (Which the senior members of the DOS that proposed the site stated would also be a fueling station {40,000 gallon fuel tank to be buried on premise}, and still wouldn’t be big enough to handle all of the trucks…Some trucks will still be parked on street).

Related FACT: East Harlem Children have the Highest Rate of Asthma in the city.

This will contribute further.

 

But what about our politicians?

 

  • Melissa Marc Viverito, ( speaker of the City Council of  the City of New York, and So called East Harlem friend )
    • Has stated no matter what facts are brought up, she is pushing this proposal.
  • Bill Perkins, (Newly elected Harlem City Council Rep, and life long East Harlemite)
    • Has stated that he really is unaware of this project and can’t say how he will vote.

 

In a twist of Irony, The City Council has championed exactly against this exact proposal. When they produced a report Feb. of this year labeled

DOING OUR FAIR SHARE,

GETTING OUR FAIR SHARE

Reforming NYC’s System for Achieving Fairness in Sitting Municipal Facilities

 

Which addresses:

Low-income communities and communities of color still see far more than their Fair Share of local unwanted land uses (“LULUs”).

Link to report here: ( Click )

http://council.nyc.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/2017-Fair-Share-Report.pdf

 

I know it feels hopeless, but East Harlem has politicians, community leaders, and residents  looking out for its families and children. Friends like,

  • Community Board 11.
    • They have voted this proposal down numerous times.
  • Marvin Holland, (contender for City Council 2017)
    • Was extremely vocal on East Harlem not being taken advantage of yet again.
  • Diane Spann, (Director of the Addie Mae Collins Center)
    • Was extremely vocal in her opposition to this proposal at a standing room only community board hearing at the National Black Theater this month .
  • William Randolph Devo Rogers, (Strategic Director PASSNYC, an Educational focused non profit & Owner of Sisters Cuisine, & Board Member of Uptown Ground Central)
    • Gave a passionate please for the community board to vote down the proposal.
    • (see full speech below)
  • Hallia Baker, (Pastor, United New Church of Christ)
    • Brought the National Black Theater to their feet with her plea for the community to be treated fairly.
    • (see full speech below)
  • NY1,(NYC’s very own TV News)

Unfortunately the proposal is still in play. We can’t trust the City Council to help us, we need to pressure Gale Brewer, Borough President of Manhattan to vote down this proposal.

We have even started a battle cry #EmailGale

 

Our next blog will address exactly how one can reach out and #EmailGale

 

Take a minute of your time and stand up for your neighborhood like these community members Hallia and William.

 

Hallia Baker’s ‘Talking Points’ at National Black Theater

  • Good evening, I’m Hallia Baker living at 57 E. 126th Street. I’ve resided in this neighborhood since 1976, but have been a part of the NE Harlem community since 1969.
  • I’m here representing the Harlem Neighborhood Block Association (HNBA) “Our story is simple, we are neighbors with mutual interest in the attaining a better standard of life in our neighborhood. We consist of tenants and homeowners. Quality of life without interfering with our communities way of life is paramount to our organization.
  • Our goal is to be a voice in the community without dictating to our neighbors.”
  • HNBA is trying to:
    • Make sure that our community is not a dumping ground for undesirable city services
    • We have formed to work with local politicians, policy makers, and community boards to get city agencies such as the Department of Sanitation to abide by the principles of ‘Fair Share’
      • We are already home to 1,082 chemical dependency treatment beds
      • 1,312 mental health treatment beds
      • 2,691 shelter and transitional housing beds.
      • Our community hosts 5% of all Department of Homeless Services (DHS) shelter beds
      • 19% of all State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS)-licensed beds
      • 11% of all State Office of Mental Health (OMH)- licensed beds in the city
      • And our community already houses CB10’s Sanitation facilities, now it is being asked to also house the relocated 99th Street facility
  • HNBA is asking the Department of Sanitation to reconsider Randall’s Island at minimum
  • But our nonnegotiable demand is that whatever is constructed to replace the 99th Street facility must be constructed to the same level as the combined $250,000,000 facility built recently in Tribeca.  Anything less is a shameless tale of two cities, where the Department of Sanitation builds one kind of facility in wealthy neighborhoods, and then literally dumps the cheapest solution possible on our already overburdened community.
  • This type of treatment to our community is soft-sell ‘Environmental Racism’; double-standards at its worse; and we don’t intend to mildly sit by and allow it to happen without calling it out for what it is.
  • We’re often told “if you see something, say something”. We see unfair standards and we’re saying something. We want to be heard and we demand resolution.
  • Thank you.

William Randolph Devo Rogers, at the National Black Theater.

Good Evening

To all that don’t know me, my name is RanDe Rogers, I am a board-member of the Uptown Grand Central 501-c3, a member of the New Harlem East Merchants Association, Director of Partnership for PASSNYC an active non profit focused on expanding educational opportunities for our children, I am owner of Sisters Caribbean Cuisine a staple of this neighborhood for almost 23 years, and most importantly I am a resident of East Harlem 

This is a critical issue for our neighborhood, not only in its physical impacts on health, infrastructure, and property value; but additionally for the psychological and social impact of being the city’s dumping ground for deleterious public projects and services. These programs are supposed to be for the “general good” but  always negatively affect OUR neighborhood and it’s residents.  

Where is our representation? As a business owner, property owner, and resident why should I believe my wellbeing is in anyway being represented? 

Now of course I sympathetic to the health crisis, but addicts have been bused from all over the city into my neighborhood at an increasing rate over the past ? years depressing the appeal of walking the streets, in many cases making it downright dangerous. East Harlem assaults that lead to hospitalization is almost 200x higher then the rest of anhattan!

Unregulated commercial rents have drained wealth from the neighborhood’s historically ethnic small business, driving up vacancy and crippling hopes of curating a healthy, and cultural, commercial district.

Now we are asked to house a new sanitation garage. One which plans do not approach the sophistication or care of constructions in other parts of the borough. One which is certain to drive down our property value. 

In a district where life expectancy is over a decade shorter then their southern neighbors, in a district where child hospitalization for asthma is over 300x the rate of the rest of manhattan, in a district where children are receiving a dramatically worse education then their southern neighbors; to even be having a conversation about exasperating these realities to the benefit of our more well off neighbors to the south is incredibly insulting. Why shouldn’t we believe our lives, businesses, and children are valued less? 

I implore you all to act in the interest of east Harlem’s residents, more importantly act on behalf of our children. Black and brown children in our community will already face incredible hurdles to success because of the color of their skin and upbringing, let’s not let East Harlem be an additional and growing hurdle for them to face.

I would like to clarify, I do not think this board is responsible for the plan to relocate the garage. Furthermore I know that this board has voted “no” to previous attempts to place this garage in our neighborhood. 

What I hope you can do for us is to convey a message to the borough president, and all the city offices who hope to be active in East Harlem. That message is “We have had enough! Enough of the pressure to move a sanitation garage into our neighborhood, enough of methadone and other treatment centers popping up in our neighborhood. We are for an indefinite freeze on all projects that in anyway decrease the quality of life for east Harlem residents until the point in which our verifiable quality of life statistics more closely resemble that of the rest of the borough. Thank you for your time, I hope you all understand and champion these issues on our behalf.”

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