OPINION: CB9 — ‘We do not want skyscrapers’

October 16, 2014 By Alicia Boyd For the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Alicia Boyd, Founder, MTOPP – The Movement To Protect The People.
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On the front page of the Our Time Press, Oct. 9-15, 2014, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said the following:

“You can’t have tall buildings and small people.”

He also states, in regards to development that has been planned, “…all we have to do is not get in the way.”

He mentions me in this article, and this is my rebuttal.

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Corruption in our local government erodes the very fabric of democracy.  Representatives are selected to “represent” the voice and the will of the people.  Not the interest of developers. At a Community Board 9 (CB9) meeting on March 17, 2014, the entire community stated they didn’t want skyscrapers, and yet, a resolution was presented from CB9 to City Planning containing language that would allow skyscrapers all throughout CB9!

Eric Adams put in 18 new board members and changed 83 percent of the executive board of CB9. This new board voted to hold onto this resolution on Sept. 23. More than 4,000 letters with people’s names, addresses and years of living in the community were presented to CB9 stating they didn’t want up zoning, and they wanted to meet with Mayor de Blasio to discuss preserving our affordable community.  These letters have been ignored by every elected official.  This is not democracy!

This is what corruption does, it destroys democracy.  Communities are the building blocks of our city. Our voices must be heard in the future of our community, for we have to live with these changes, not the developers, city planning and our local politicians.

This top down approach, where we are told to “not get in the way” of planned development, is not only disrespectful, but projects the idea that developers and politicians know best, and that we the people are not equipped to make decisions for ourselves. 

We have watched City Planning engage in discriminatory practices all over NYC, by down zoning white-middle class communities and up zoning communities of color. We have watched the creation of “affordable” units, with luxury housing, built with our money, not be affordable, never get built, or stand empty, because the developers can’t find “qualified” renters with 750+ credit scores! 

We have seen the Jim Crow poor door now become law, luxury developments cause our rents to increase, landlords engage in all kinds of discrimination, harassment, etc…,  for every “proposed” affordable unit built, we lose 20 “real” affordable units, all under the “Create Affordable Housing Scam”  and “We The People” are no longing buying it!

When democracy does not work, it forces the people to take action, to engage in civil disobedience as was displayed on Sept. 23 at the CB9 meeting!  The community’s behavior is stating loud and clear, democracy is not working here! 

We do not want sky scrapers or luxury development in our community!   We want our affordable community to be “preserved”. If this makes us “small people,” then maybe a big community (we are over 200,000) does not need small politicians!

—Alicia Boyd

Founder, MTOPP – The Movement To Protect The People

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