Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Opposition to Development Grows

Albor Ruiz is continuing to focus attention on the growing outrage from the Coorona, Jacskon Heights and East Elmhurst communities to the planned three pronged development at Willets Point and Flushing Meadows:

"It won’t be one of the topics of discussion tonight at the Obama-Romney presidential debate, but for Queens residents the city’s plans for Flushing Meadows—Corona Park are of crucial importance for the future of their community. That’s why two weeks ago 500 Queens residents attended a Town Hall-style meeting at a Corona church to discuss such plans and to tell Mayor Bloomberg that the community is not going to sit idly by while their park is sold to real estate moguls and greedy merchants.

And that’s why on Monday night 250 angry residents of Jackson Heights, Corona, and East Elmhurst came together for another emergency town hall meeting, this time at a Jackson Heights church, to forcefully convey the same message: Queens residents are united against the giveaway of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park land."

The grass roots, largely immigrant coalition, is getting larger-and when added to the WPU's four year effort the city must be prepared for a bitter battle:

"The coalition, which was one of the main forces behind the Corona meeting two weeks ago, is composed of a diverse group of labor, immigrant, cultural and community organizations. Included among the groups are the Asian Americans For Equality, Eastern New York State Soccer Association, Jackson Heights Green Alliance, Jackson Heights Beautification Group, Make the Road New York, New Immigrant Community Empowerment, Queens Community House and Queens Congregations United for Action."
Put as simply as possible, these three developments-a soccer stadium, a tennis facility and the largest mall in NYC will create a massive strain on the area's infrastructure-and the loss of parkland will never be replaced. This from a mayor constantly bleating about the glories of immigration. It is as bald a two faced hypocrisy as we have ever seen from a NYC chief executive-and the other city wide officials, and those looking to become one, need to step up and be forceful in their oppposition:

"The city, the coalition said, is considering three development projects to be built on parkland: a 1,400,000-square foot mall, two new stadiums and concert venues, 9,000 additional parking spots including several new parking garages and new roads. The plan requires years of construction and dozens of acres of parkland would be lost to private corporations."

This is a full blown assault against the poor and immigrant communities of Queens-made worse by the fact that it's being sold in the name of jobs and economic development. But the only ones being jobbed are those families that use the park as a refuge from the realities of Bloomberg's New York, Shame on him!