GUEST BLOG: DECENTRALIZED ORGANIZING
Greenpoint, Brooklyn – Java Street Community Garden member Gabriel Park says there are 3 major components you need to “decentralize your organization:” good structure for the group, someone to be the secretary at all times, and clear communication. Read on for specific tips and tricks!
Lower East Side, Manhattan – 596 Acres will join The Stanton Building Task Force of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition at It’s My Park Day at Sara D. Roosevelt Park on Wednesday, July 6 from 3pm to 6pm. 596 Acres will bring our What Do We Do With Our Land exhibit, which highlights the use of eminent domain and community land trusts to create community controlled land and housing on the Lower East Side. We originally installed this in front of the Stanton Street building in 2015 for the Ideas City Festival. You can listen to the audio pieces at this link, but you will need to come to the festival to experience the energy of the neighborhood!
Sunnyside/Long Island City, Queens – Join us at a GeoNYC Tour to benefit 596 Acres: The Second Renaissance of Railroads to see the past and the future with GeoNYC and the Queens Borough Historian on Tuesday, July 12 at 6pm. Details and RSVP information here.
NEWS FROM THE ORGANIZING ACRES
Melrose, Bronx – Support the Hill Street Community Garden plan! The group is gathering letters of support from local organizations. Contact Victor Maldonado at email@example.com to send yours and become an Organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/6000020001/.
Bed Stuy-Bushwick, Brooklyn – We are thrilled to have connected neighbors to the Madison Community Garden, an NYC Parks Department Green Thumb garden ready for re-activation on Madison near Howard. The group will be meeting again during the week of July 11. Get in touch with Ijendu Z. Obasi at GreenThumb – (929) 295 1389, firstname.lastname@example.org – and sign up to Organize here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/3014830027/. The group is also exploring the possibility of reactivating the lot on the corner of Howard and Madison, which was used as a playspace for the neighborhood in 2012 and then shut down without any community input.
Crown Heights, Brooklyn – The land on Prospect Place near Albany Avenue used to be a Lots for Tots lot – it even still has the murals and equipment in it! But it’s no longer managed as one. In fact, the whole Lots for Tots program closed about 20 years ago. A new community space here could take advantage of the nice murals and some of the furniture that is already here. A group could decide to make changes, too! Currently, the land is being held by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services. It will need to be transferred to NYC Parks for community stewardship. Become an Organizer here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/59081/. The next step is to have a meeting with the neighbors and the block association. Here is a meeting announcement template you can use.
Crown Heights, Brooklyn – Call all your elected officials today if you want the City and the State to actively preserve the Roger That! Garden on Park Place and Rogers Avenue before it disappears to make way for four expensive apartments. The only way this garden space will be preserved now is if someone buys it from the developer. The government can do that. Bills have been introduced in the State Senate and Assembly that direct the State Parks Department to do just that. NYC Parks can also step in to save the day! This week call Council Member Robert Cornegy, (718) 919-0740, Assembly Member Diana Richardson, 718-771-3105, and Senator Velmanette Montgomery, (718) 643-6140, and ask them to make acquiring this land for permanent preservation as open space a priority. The community really needs it!
Design Trust for Public Space is looking for a range of Fellows to help “Open the Edge” at a public housing campus on the Lower East Side. Details are here. Apply by July 28. We are really excited about this project, which is poised to serve as a prototype for getting more New Yorkers engaged with more of our public lands.
GREEN FOR YOUR GREEN
The Macktez Summer Stipend is an an opportunity to get $1000 to finish a summer project: https://www.macktez.com/stipend/. We did in 2014 to create signs for lots in active urban renewal areas and to connect folks on the streets to the Urban Reviewer, the first comprehensive and online database of every urban renewal plan that NYC ever adopted that we created to help guide your organizing. This year’s applications are due July 23.
Check out our list of micro grants and resources that can help you make your project a reality AFTER you have access to your lot.