The Strategy of Civil Disobedience
We won a tremendous battle on September 23, 2014, by engaging in a strategy called civil disobedience. Despite people calling this childish, immature etc… it is a powerful strategy but hard to control, because one is using emotions, unrest and even anger to decide an outcome or situation. We bordered on a fine line, of how to control the meeting without closing it down!
And we did it! We had these goals in mind.
Not to allow City Planning to speak! (And they didn’t)
Why? Because City Planning shouldn’t be involved in this stage of the game.
This is a community concern, we should be deciding for ourselves what we want and how to create a request to ensure that is what we get. Once that is done, then City Planning should be involved.
That is the process!!! That is the process that wasn’t followed, that Fred Baptist – Community Board member complained about when the first resolution was passed and the reason he put forth
the motion to rescind it. Do the process!
To show that the current resolution did not have community support!
Not only with those letters and signatures (almost 4,000) that we produced on the stage,
stating clearly there is no community support for residential on Empire Blvd, but with the people showing up and booing anyone who even tried to support this idea! We wanted no doubts that the community does not want residential on Empire Blvd!
And we showed that!
To get this issue out into the wider public, via the news media!
This issue has been brewing for awhile and only certain bloggers have been covering it.
We wanted a wider media outlet, because we know this will have an impact upon our elected officials as wells as put us in touch with other resources in the city that could help us.
To put a spot light onto the inner workings of Community Board 9.
This is crucial because there is a lot of corruption going on at Community Board 9 level.
Pearl Miles is just the tip of the iceberg and the community needed to see for themselves
how unprofessional this group of representatives are and level of disrespect them have for us!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udwZrv3qZ2k (watch this one minute you tube video)
This wasn’t the first time we met with Community Board 9 members and had them tell us to shut-up! When we met with City Planning and Community Board 9 on August 4, 2014. Laura Imperial, Vice-Chair, during a heated meeting with homeowners who have Empire Blvd as their backyards,
took her finger and pointed at us and said “Shut up! I have enough of you!”
And who is she? A woman who just got on the board last year, this year she is the vice-chair,
and who works for a construction company! We also wanted to know how our community board members stand on this issue! No more back room deals, put your vote where your politics are!
To allow the community an opportunity to vent their displeasure at what is happening here in our community.
For too long this community has been dis-empowered by community Board members and Pearl Miles. We have watched her not address our concerns, refuse our voice, show her displeasure at us and finally the community got a chance to show how they feel about her. At the end of the meeting, I was told that a request for her removal is in place. Now we have to see who Eric Adams wants to put in her place and if we don’t like it, then we better do something about it, otherwise we will have another Pearl Miles!!!
To put in the spot light the idea of “Preserving an Affordable Community”.
We are a perfect example of de Blasio’s plan that calls for preserving 200,000 thousand affordable units. Because of our density, creating isn’t good for us, and because we are the 2nd most affordable community in Brooklyn, preserving is what we should be focusing on. The City cannot keep insisting that a blanket overall plan works for all communities. Maybe in some communities it is creating affordable housing, but not all! Here is a perfect place to start to look at
the Preserving part of the plan and really assist the people in staying in their homes!
To set-up evidence that we will use in a court of law, if Community Board 9 and City Planning tries to proceed with this particular request!
It is clear that City Planning will never get a request from Community Board 9 that gives them so much power over what will happen, they realize this resolution is their best chance!! It will never happen again! What do they have to lose by trying to push it forward? Developers have spent years planning this event. Thousands if not millions of dollars to get it to happen. Do you think they won’t keep trying?
Thus we must prepare to take this to court! We can wage two wars on the court level. The Supreme Court and the Appellate Court, together it could take a few years, and when we win
then the City will have to do the entire study over again!!! And we will win, because there must be community consensus at the community level for rezoning changes!
One group cannot decide for an entire community what they want. The home owners that border along Empire Blvd would be viewed in the eyes of the law as the most affected by this rezoning and thus should have and must have a say in this! That is our power! Without that, rezoning lacks community support and should never have been put forward or processed!
Now there is a question on the table of whether the resolution that was passed on Sept 23,
was valid or not. At this point it doesn’t matter! It served its purpose! People came out, felt empowered and accomplished a goal! We have now showed the City and the people of Flatbush, Crown Heights and Prospect Park Lefferts Garden, that we are a force to be reckoned with!
We are organized, powerful, have purpose and direction! We were a sleeping giant
and we have now woken up!
We Will Not Be Displaced!
No Residential On Empire Blvd!
Preserve Our Affordable Community!
Down zone Empire Blvd!