Our friends at Welcome2TheBronx covered the story here. –
When: Monday, April 20
8:30 am – Fliering/press conference ( 161st St. side of building)
9:00 am – Enter court (Room 405A, Judge Mary Brigantti-Hughes)
FreshDirect is thumbing its nose at nearly three years of community opposition to the project. Just last month, hundreds of residents and local businesses and organizations testified in opposition to the project in the very first Bronx-based public hearing on the proposed $140 million subsidy package. Among those who submitted testimony were Bronx Council for Environmental Quality, South Bronx Community Congress, Community Connections for Youth, South Bronx Farmers Market, The POINT Community Development Corporation, Bronx Climate Justice North, Bronx Clergy Round Table, Latino Pastoral Action Center and the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, as well as others from among the more than 50 organizations that support South Bronx Unite.
It is nearly seven years to the day of when FreshDirect fired 85
immigrant workers and over a hundred fled just days before Christmas in 2007 following an immigration raid on the eve of a Teamster union vote of the employees. The company was alleged to have tipped off immigration authorities.
While FreshDirect is courting support from Bronx representatives (and will be sponsoring the Christmas parties of several State
representatives from outside the district later in the week), City,
State and federal elected representatives from within the district
remain opposed to the project. U.S. Congressman José E. Serrano, State Senator José M. Serrano, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and City Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo have all called for a moratorium on all new development on the state-owned stretch of waterfront land, including with respect to FreshDirect, until a thorough analysis of the current uses and the disproportionate impact on the health of the community could be thoroughly studied and mitigated.
Mayor de Blasio, who campaigned on promises to stop the FreshDirect deal and end the tale of two cities, has not yet affirmed this stance since taking office despite more than 400 phone calls and emails to his office by the community to stop the project.
(1) ATTEND THE HEARING – CLICK HERE
package for FreshDirect because the project: (1) runs counter to the needs, desires and well-established development plans of the local community (with multiple residential rezonings and State open space proposed prioritization of the Mott Haven-Port Morris Waterfront Plan), (2) would have devastating environmental and health impacts on a community where one in four children has
asthma (as the company would bring upwards of 1,000 diesel truck trips through the neighborhood every day), (3) has no requirement to pay its workers a living wage (including for the more than half of its workforce that is not unionized), nor add any jobs despite promises made to the public, (4) violates the constitutional requirement that the state-owned land on which it is proposed to
be sited provide a public benefit and reduce truck traffic, (5) is inconsistent with efforts to protect the South Bronx waterfront flood zone in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and (6) runs contrary to fair business practices – no analysis has been made of its impact on existing brick-and-mortar grocers nor on new entrants to the grocery delivery market; there is also no cost-benefit analysis
regarding the potential loss of jobs of Queens residents, nor on the ability of FreshDirect to stay and expand in its already-subsidized Queens location, which it disclosed would be the most economical option.
PUBLIC COMMENTS ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED NOW THROUGH DECEMBER 17
The Mott Haven-Port Morris Waterfront Plan was voted by overwhelming majority for inclusion on the draft list
of priority projects of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Open Space Plan! Never before has our community had a priority project in the plan! The Open Space Plan serves as a blueprint for the state’s land conservation efforts, identifying priority open space projects for protection and guiding State Environmental Protection Fund investments. From now through December 17th, the public is being asked to provide comments on the plan via email (see below for draft text). On October 22, a public hearing will also be held from 2:30-4:30 and from 7:00-9:00 at 47-40 21st Street, Long Island City. After the public comment period is closed, DEC will review all comments on the proposed plan and issue a final plan of priority projects.
|A: Bronx Kill Waterfront Park – site
of Native American settlement and burial ground; last significant open green space on the Mott Haven-Port Morris waterfront; lines the Bronx Kill waterway; directly connects to the “Randall’s Island Connector”
|B: Park Avenue Boat Launch and Waterfront Park – already
green space; one of the few areas with actual water access not blocked
by Oak Point Link rail; already being used as an ad hoc fishing and boat
|D: Alexander Avenue Extension of Lincoln Avenue Waterfront Park – easily
accessible by pedestrians; vacant and unused site; community blocked by
fence and guard; directly connected to Mott Haven antique district
WE NEED YOUR HELP TO MAKE THIS PERMANENT!
(1) REGISTER FOR THE PUBLIC HEARING HERE
(2) SEND YOUR COMMENTS VIA EMAIL BY PASTING THE BELOW DRAFT TEXT INTO AN EMAIL MESSAGE
SUBJECT: I support the Mott Haven-Port Morris Waterfront Plan as a Priority Project for Region 2!
MESSAGE (draft): To Whom It May Concern:
I support inclusion of the Mott Haven-Port Morris Waterfront Plan as a priority project for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Open Space Plan. This community-developed plan would provide underserved residents access to a public waterfront that, for decades, has been inaccessible. The plan is consistent with three rezonings on adjacent land, provides a logical solution to climate change effects on significant maritime industrial areas (SMIAs) and gives the community open space to counteract severe health consequences caused by an oversaturation of highways and truck-intensive businesses
in the South Bronx. These vacant coastal sites are located within a
flood zone, and if properly designated as protected open space, could significantly mitigate dangerous effects on the community of storm surge flooding of existing power plants and waste transfer stations along the South Bronx waterfront. Each site has also been included as an area of significance in the Vision 2020 NYC Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, and several sites are currently proposed for elimination from SMIA designation. These sites, all of which are government owned, are easily accessible by pedestrians, have recognized historical significance, are already being used as ad hoc fishing and canoeing sites and connect to bigger capital projects already funded and underdevelopment (like the Randall’s Island Connector). The development of these sites are seen as necessary for growth since they often being in pedestrians who would like to take part in activities such as fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. Many findings show that this is the perfect spot for such activities, with patrons bringing the best fishing kayak to take part in these new adventures and expand the cultural and economic value on these sites.
ACTION ALERT –
TELL MAYOR DE BLASIO
TO STOP THE FRESHDIRECT DEAL
On July 14th 2014, South Bronx Unite sent out an action alert to our email list. In it we encouraged our members and allies to contact Mayor de Blasio, and ask him to put an end to the Bloomberg-era Tale of Two Cities FreshDirect deal that he campaigned against during his mayoral run.
through South Bronx Asthma Alley. Instead, his office announced the monumental redesign of downtown Brooklyn – to include a 21 acre greenway connecting downtown to the Brooklyn waterfront.The Tale of Two Cities will not change until we insist it changes. If you have not yet contacted the Mayor, please do so today. If you have not yet received a response, please call and email again (and ask 5 friends to do so as well.)
operation to a South Bronx waterfront flood zone, bringing 1,000 daily diesel truck trips through an overburdened community already plagued with asthma rates 8 times the national average. In 2013, we voted a progressive administration into office to change the tale of two cities and reverse course on decades of double standards and hazardous dumping on the South Bronx.
Arrested for Protesting FreshDirect in the South Bronx, the Mott Haven Nine Appear in Court Today to Fight Charges
Update: We won.
Protest charges dismissed!
“Our actions are reflective of our belief, to paraphrase Dr. King, that one who violates an unjust law is in reality expressing the highest regard for the law.”
– Rev. Rubén Austria, Mott Haven Resident, Director, Community Connections for Youth“How can the city and state give a company $128 million in subsidies when they refuse to even conduct an environmental impact assessment of what thousands of additional diesel truck trips would do to our children, our seniors, and all our neighborhood residents?”
– Mychal Johnson, Mott Haven Resident removed from Community Board 1 by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. after expressing his opposition to the FreshDirect deal“Would New York give FreshDirect $128 million of our tax dollars to pollute public waterfront land in the West Village with up to 2000 diesel truck trips a day? No. This is
blatant environmental racism.”
– Leah Kozak, Mott Haven Resident, Program Director, The Micah Institute, New York Theological Seminary“Our new mayor, our public advocate, our speaker all ran on the platform of overturning Bloomberg era policies that put profits over people and favored corporations over communities. It’s time for them to step up and use their authority to overturn this deal, the way they’ve put an end to other Bloomberg era disasters.”
– Harry Bubbins, Mott Haven Resident, Director, Friends of Brook Park
The community effort to challenge FreshDirect’s proposed move to the South Bronx continues! Still before the Court is the legal claim challenging the New York State Department of Transportation’s (DOT) approval of the sublease of public land to FreshDirect in violation of the State Constitution because the FreshDirect project eviscerates the public purpose of this state-owned land. Originally, Judge Brigantti-Hughes dismissed the claim on the grounds that the complaint alleged no DOT involvement in the conveyance to FreshDirect. However, after the Judge issued her opinion, facts became available to us establishing DOT’s involvement in the conveyance, thus providing us with the opportunity to seek permission to amend our complaint and move forward with our constitutional claim. Oral arguments on Monday, April 7, 2014, addressed the new facts showing DOT’s involvement in approving the FreshDirect project.