PUBLIC ADVOCATE'S STATEMENT OPPOSING THE INDUSTRY CITY REZONING
Aug. 19, 2020
Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams issued the following statement reiterating his opposition to the proposed Industry City rezoning, as the City Planning Commission voted to move the plan forward today.
"Today I am glad to stand with the community, and with its local city representation, to oppose the Industry City rezoning. As it stands, the proposal lacks adequate climate adaptation or mitigation and threatens to exacerbate issues of gentrification, loss of social cohesion, and climate vulnerability. There are accommodations and alterations which could have been made to this proposal, requests the community made and which were not adequately met - including through failure to make an ironclad commitment against including unwanted hotels.
"Rezonings must be done with the community needs in mind and in full consultation with that community. I have previously called for a moratorium on all rezonings until a racial impact study has been completed, which is clearly needed in this case.
"It's true that the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis have framed in stark and urgent relief the need for job growth and revitalized and reimagined economic development in our city. But the pandemic has also magnified existing structural issues and inequities that have long devastated communities, and this rezoning would be a continuation of those issues, not a cure. Jobs are essential, in this crisis and beyond it, but this rezoning is not a way to spark and sustain economic and community health. Like the Hudson Yards project before it, which now siphons crucial city resources while doing nothing to help everyday New Yorkers, this proposal is not a short term solution to the city's economic situation, and it could have long term negative consequences.
"I stand with residents, who face an affordability crisis. I stand with this community, who face an oncoming wave of gentrification and oncoming threats of climate damage, both of which will be exacerbated if this rezoning takes place. I stand against the current proposal and urge my fellow city leaders to do the same."