Much has been made of a relatively new organization called Open New York. They have unacceptable opinions about housing. June 2021 was the first time they endorsed applicants and applicants in our community received their endorsement. In order to receive their approval, you must agree 100% on every question they ask. No room for negotiation.
Reading the questions, I was amazed by the racist ideas put forward. In our community, we all work together. I thought about how our community came together to defeat Bruckner zoning. I’m so proud of how each community came to help. We held hands.
People from all walks of life and all economic levels have worked together for a common purpose. Even Democrats and Republicans have joined in supporting us. This is how it should be and we should shout from the top of the mountains that here it will never change. We must fight all efforts to pit us against each other. Remember, united we stand, divided we fall.
Here are the questions you must agree 100% with to receive an endorsement from Open New York:
– Do you believe that the city should adopt less restrictive zoning in the richest and whitest neighborhoods in order to facilitate residential integration? If so, how would you encourage him as a board member?
-Open NY has proposed a rezoning of SoHo and NoHo, which, if passed, would produce nearly 700 deeply affordable housing units in the city’s wealthiest and whitest neighborhoods, as well as 2,800 market rate rentals . Affordable units are essential to any goal of creating an equitable city, and market-rate units would reduce the number of affluent households driving up rents in gentrifying neighborhoods. Do you support mixed-housing rezoning of SoHo and NoHo along the lines of what Open NY has proposed?
-Rezonings have always been focused on working-class, POC neighborhoods, providing these neighborhoods with long-awaited investment they should have received, as an incentive to adapt to the growth of the city. Meanwhile, affluent neighborhoods were allowed to turn down housing growth and maintain their amenities and receive the lion’s share of government investment and attention. Open NY believes this dynamic needs to change, with the rezoning of SoHo and NoHo as a first step in the right direction, and intends to propose and support rezonings and other policy proposals that would change this dynamic. Would you like to join a caucus working to rezone affluent neighborhoods (which have infrastructure and amenities) for higher-density, mixed-income housing; invest in low-income neighborhoods to fund highly affordable housing and infrastructure improvements? Would you support legislation that would further these objectives?
-One of the main barriers to creating affordable housing in affluent neighborhoods is member deference, a council norm in which council members defer to the local member’s opinion, rather than voting according to their own values on the rezoning in question. Would you vote for a rezoning that would create new mixed housing in an affluent and opportunity-rich neighborhood over the local member’s objections?
-The saga of temporary shelters at the Lucerne Hotel — and other refuge hotels — has highlighted the ability of well-to-do New Yorkers to oppose the settlement of the poorest in their neighborhoods. Would you like homeless shelters, temporary or permanent, to be established in your neighborhood, regardless of objections from neighbors?
-Would you be in favor of legislative changes that encourage the creation of secondary housing units, both city-wide and in your neighbourhood?
-Would you support legislative changes that would incorporate basement apartments into legal regulations?
– Do you want legislative changes that encourage the conversion of hotels into permanent accommodation?
-Would you support removing parking minimums for new housing across the city?
-Do you agree not to support downzoning in your neighborhood?
-Would you support the elimination of single-family zoning throughout the city? This means eliminating regulations that make it illegal to build even two or three family homes)
Good, you have it now. I want you to think about this ridiculousness. Identify misrepresentations. Ponder how these mandates would make our city unhealthy.
Having this information, I hope you will ask each candidate if they have been approved by Open NY. If you agree that the policies of Open NY will harm our city, please consider withdrawing your support from any candidate endorsed by them, unless they rescind the endorsement they received.
We will discuss some of these issues at our next meeting. Please join us on September 28 at 7:30 p.m. at First Lutheran Church at Hollywood and Baisley Avenues.
We’ve asked some candidates to join us so you can hear their platforms and, in doing so, vote in an informed way in November. We also asked the new pastor of First Lutheran Church, Dawn Morello, to join us.
We hope to see you at our next meeting. Bring your neighbors with you.