Eat! Eat! says CB9
Written by Bwog Staff
Now that the academic demands are taken care of, the hunger strikers are still going hungry for the Manhattanville expansion. But in an e-mail to the Community Board 9 listserv, CB 9 chairman Jordi Reyes-Montblanc told them to knock it off: “I again beseech you to stop your hunger strike as it pertains to the CU Expansion issues,” he wrote. “The ULURP process is alive and well and I am confident that your personal sacrifices have been noted and opened some eyes both at the City Planning Commission and the City Council.” The full message is posted after the jump.
Also, according to this Observer article, the West Harlem LDC has finally put up a number–the group wants “in excess of 100 million” for an affordable housing fund. Columbia hasn’t agreed to that number but, “the source said that the school, while it had not offered its own number, understood it had to contribute more, and in a more timely way.” This is one of the points the strike team was negotiating for. Looks like the need might be covered.
We also think it’s worth reiterating that, according to today’s Spec, Kofi Annan was never supposed to come to
campus dinner last night, as strikers claimed two nights ago while speaking to the crowd at the sundial. The “fancy dinner” they alluded to also raised $1.75 million for the College.
UPDATE: The Coalition to Preserve Community–a group composed of anti-expansion West Harlem activists is pleading for the second time for the hunger strikers to stop. A portion of their latest press release reads:
“Five days ago, on November 11, the Coalition to Preserve Community (CPC), a four-year old West Harlem community group opposing the Columbia University expansion plan, asked the Columbia students who had been on a hunger strike since Wednesday, November 7, to withdraw their demand that the University recall its
197C rezoning application. They rejected our request at that time, but today
we are asking them again.
We do not want the students’ health and welfare to be sacrificed in waiting
on Columbia to engage in an honest dialogue and negotiation with the community
on the rezoning application.”
And finally! Beyond the jump, behold our super-useful Manhattanville Decoder, to help you understand the jargon in the various intallments of our Hunger Strike Primary Source Reader.
CB9M Chairman’s Message to Students in Hunger Strike
As you may know I am away recovering from surgery but I am following the developments quite closely.
I firmly believe you have made your points and received wide media coverage.
I again beseech you to stop your hunger strike as it pertains to the CU Expansion issues. The ULURP process is alive and well and I am confident that your personal sacrifices have been noted and opened some eyes both at the City Planning Commission and the City Council.
It would be highly detrimental if your health deteriorates and places your lives in danger with the onset of inclement weather. We need you healthy and in fit condition for the struggles still ahead.
I congratulate you for your courage, dedication and affection for our community, your efforts will have great value and take a place of honor in the history of student activism on behalf of our community.
I look forward to see y’all upon my return.
With respect and admiration
Jordi (George) Reyes-Montblanc, Chairman
Community Board 9 Manhattan
565 West 125th Street
New York, NY 10027-2301
Manhattanville for Dummies:
Community Board 9 (CB9): a group of West Harlem (Hamilton Heights, Manhattanville, and some of Morningside Heights) residents and business owners who applied to the Borough President’s office and were selected to represent their neighborhood.
Local Development Corporation (LDC): Because CB9 isn’t invested with the power to negotiate with developers, the city created the West Harlem LDC. It’s a group of CB9 members, public housing tenants, environmentalists, artists, and elected officials who meet regularly to decide what they want from Columbia in return for the expansion.
Community Benefits Agreement: This is what the LDC is working to for. It’s an agreement that will decide how much Columbia will put into an affordable housing fund, what environmental standards it will use, how much funding it’ll give to the arts in Harlem. Outside of side-deals with elected officials (e.g. the deal with the Borough President) this will be negotiated entirely by the LDC.
Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP): A slow process that any developer must go through if they need a zoning change in order to build. Columbia’s expansion plan is mid-ULURP right now–CB9 and the Borough President have already voted on it. Next it goes to the City Council and then the mayor.