When: May 3, 1:00-3:00pm
Meet: Mott Haven Bar & Grill (1 Bruckner Blvd)
Resident members of South Bronx Unite, a local environmental justice organization, will lead a waterfront walking tour of landmark sites throughout the Mott Haven-Port Morris neighborhood of the South Bronx as well as sites along the Mott Haven-Port Morris Waterfront Plan, a community-designed blueprint for alternatives to decades of policies that have perpetuated air quality degradation and unjust land use. This dynamic tour will provide a window into the craftsmanship of the 1800’s, the oversaturation of industrial facilities causing alarmingly high asthma rates and the myriad signs of resiliency. The tour will highlight local community gardens and local organizing campaigns for climate resiliency and against
subsidies to diesel trucking companies like FreshDirect. This tour is part of Jane’s Walk NYC, organized by the Municipal Art Society, where thousands of New Yorkers will take to the streets on 100+ walking tours throughout the city to engage in walking conversations in the spirit of Jane Jacobs.
Where: Bronx Supreme Court – East 161st Street and Grand Concourse
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)
Can public land be used by a private developer with no public benefit? South Bronx Unite packed the courtroom as New York Lawyers for the Public Interest argue (with newly discovered (aka previously withheld) information) on a motion to renew to allow standing to sue on this important issue.
When: Sunday, April 19th | 11-1:30: Bike Tour | 1:30-3:30: Tree Giveaway
Where: Meet at Brook Park, East 141st Street and Brook Avenue
Participants of all ages visited sites along the community-designed Mott Haven-Port Morris Waterfront Plan, including the proposed Lincoln Avenue waterfront park, the 132nd Street pier and the historic Port Morris gantries. Participants also learned about local organizing campaigns against subsidies to the trucking company FreshDirect as well as pollution and unjust land use from polluting fossil fuel power plants and waste transfer facilities that line the Bronx Kill waterway. Hurricane Sandy hit this flood zone during low tide, causing 4.5 foot flooding in the area, with forceful waves that ripped a pier from its concrete foundation. The tour, organized together with Times Up!, highlighted the community’s longstanding vision for the public waterfront land, who is working with the community and who is working against the community. At 1:30, we returned to Brook Park to join Friends of Brook Park, Per Scholas and New York Restoration Project in providing 100 free trees to the community as part of the MillionTreesNYC initiative.
Saturday, September 20th, 12 – 3 PM
Meet at Brook Park
E 141st St and Brook Ave, Bronx NY
South Bronx Unite, co-founded by one of the 38 civil society delegates selected to attend the UN Climate Summit, was joined by friends and allies of those on the front lines of climate justice to join the South Bronx Environmental Justice Waterfront Tour.
This dynamic tour brought participants to the frontlines of climate change and environmental justice, less than five miles from UN headquarters. The tour highlighted local organizing efforts against decades of policies that have caused a grave health crisis in the community, deteriorated nine miles of inaccessible coast line and perpetuated severe air quality degradation from the disproportionate citing of diesel trucking operations, fossil fuel power plants and waste transfer facilities that line its waterways.
Hurricane Sandy hit this flood zone during low tide, causing 3.5 foot flooding in the area, with forceful waves that ripped a pier from its concrete foundation. Participants learned about innovative solutions, such as the Mott Haven-Port Morris Waterfront Plan, which the community has developed to counter imminent climate change effects on the neighborhood. The tour also focused on the community’s current fight against FreshDirect, a company trying to obtain since 2012 $140M in controversial corporate subsidies to move its diesel trucking operation to a waterfront floodzone documented with evidence of a Native American burial cite. Following the tour, South Bronx residents performed The Cantastoria of the South Bronx, a theatrical performance written and developed in collaboration with Papel Machete about the needs, issues and experiences of the South Bronx.
On Saturday, May 3, people from throughout the city came together for a waterfront walking tour of landmark sites throughout the Mott Haven-Port Morris neighborhood of the South Bronx as well as sites along the community-planned Mott Haven-Port Morris Waterfront Plan. This dynamic walking tour highlighted local organizing campaigns against subsidies to diesel trucking companies like FreshDirect as well as the effects of policies that have perpetuated air quality degradation and unjust land use from fossil fuel power plants and waste transfer facilities that line the Bronx Kill waterway. Hurricane Sandy hit this flood zone during low tide, causing 3.5 foot flooding in the area, with forceful waves that ripped a pier from its concrete foundation. Learn about innovative solutions the community has offered as a counter to imminent climate change effects on this neighborhood. This tour, organized and led by South Bronx Unite, was part of Jane’s Walk NYC, organized by the Municipal Art Society on May 3rd and 4th, where thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets on 100+ walking tours throughout the city to engage in walking coversations in the spirit of Jane Jacobs.
Today, A. Mychal Johnson and Dr. Melissa Barber will provide testimony on behalf of South Bronx Unite to the New York City Council Committee on Environmental Protection on Oversight of Air Quality Impacts, Measures and Mitigation in Environmental Justice Communities.
“The South Bronx community suffers from asthma rates eight times the national average and asthma hospitalization rates 21 times that of other New York City neighborhoods,” began Dr. Barber, Mott Hvaen resident recently cited by Bronx Times as one of the 25 most influential women in the Bronx. “Twelve years ago, the ‘South Bronx Environmental Health and Policy Study,’ sponsored by Congressman José Serrano and administered by the U.S. EPA, concluded that the solution to this problem was to reduce the already overburdened rates of truck traffic in the community and to provide for more open space.”
A. Mychal Johnson, Mott Haven resident and delegate to the Region 2 New York State Open Space Committee, continued: “In the case of the South Bronx, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and Industrial Development Agency (IDA) have been acting to not only encourage but to heavily subsidize more diesel truck intensive businesses to relocate to the South Bronx from other parts of the city, the most egregious and recent example of which is the proposed relocation of FreshDirect’s trucking operation to the South Bronx waterfront. EDC and IDA staff oversaw and approved the company’s cursory environmental assessment that was based off of a 20 year old Environmental Impact Statement and concluded that a thousand additional daily diesel truck trips would not negatively impact local residents. But we, along with more than 50 South Bronx and other city-wide organizations, disagree and are supported by scientific findings of the harm this project would bring.”
Albert Einstein Medical School Presentation – February 5, 2014
South Bronx Unite gave a presentation to dozens of students at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine – part of the school’s Social Medicine Lecture series, which invites physicians, researchers and advocates from the community to share their experiences on the social aspects of medicine. The presentation focused on the health impacts of the FreshDirect project. The student group immediately signed onto the SBU platform
and to the boycott of FreshDirect
Bronx Clergy Roundtable – February 18, 2014
South Bronx Unite presented to the Bronx Clergy Roundtable, where members made it clear that this was a very important issue for Bronx residents. At a prior Bronx Clergy Roundtable presentation/discussion, Bronx clergy joined in a prayer to strengthen the community’s resolve against projects that cause it harm, including those like FreshDirect, which would bring 1,000 daily diesel truck trips through the community already suffering asthma rates eight times the national average.
Bronx Parks SpeakUp – February 22, 2014
South Bronx Unite attended the full day Bronx Parks Speak Up event which brought together about 300 parks advocates from across the Bronx. SBU member and Brook Park Director, Harry Bubbins, delivered a presentation
on Brook Park and the need for waterfront access in CB1. SBU also hosted a literature table and engaged in great discussions throughout the day about our community’s winning struggle against FreshDirect and our neighborhood’s efforts to build an alternative via the Mott Haven-Port Morris Waterfront Plan
COURT DATE to Stop FreshDirect!
Thursday, December 5th at 2:00 pm (be there by 1:30 pm for the pre-hearing press conference!)
27 Madison Ave, Manhattan (between 25th and 26th Street)
Help defend the South Bronx from economic and environmental exploitation and stop the $127 million in subsidies to a polluting corporation that has never made a profit and never consulted the local community.RSVP HERE
Appellate Division will hear oral arguments on the appeal filed by the New York
Lawyers for the Public Interest on behalf of South Bronx Unite,
challenging, among other things, the inadequate environmental review performed
by the NYC Industrial Development Agency for the proposed state and city
subsidized relocation of Fresh Direct from Long Island City to the South Bronx.
Preceding the oral argument, NYLPI and South Bronx Unite will host a press
conference in front of the courthouse.
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) submitted an amicus brief to support
NYLPI’s claims that further environmental review is necessary and meaningful, particularly in
underserved and environmentally burdened communities such as the Mott Haven
Giorgio, Staff Attorney for Environmental Justice Program, NYLPI
A. Mychal Johnson, South Bronx Unite
Rev. Ruben Austria, Community Connections for Youth
Libertad Guerra, South Bronx Unite
Bettina Damiani, Project Director, Good Jobs New York
Thursday, December 5, 2013
1:30 pm – Press conference
2:00 pm – Oral arguments
New York State Supreme Court, First Appellate Division
27 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010