“Our neighborhoods are being torn apart by skyrocketing rents and terrorized by police brutality. Low-to-middle income New Yorkers are being priced out or displaced by gentrification while our city is being made over into a playground for the super rich. We say NO MORE!”

When I started Elevtr Trax, (originally called Elevator9) New York was a jungle filled with complex local culture, generations of unspoken community collaborations, and a vibrancy of small mom and pop businesses. But after 9/11 the impending financial collapse in America was only made possible by a deregulated Wall St, a Walmart outsource economy, a hyper-militarization of local police, and union busting, that was championed overtly by Republicans and covertly by plutocrat Democrats equally. As money poured into politics, I watched Democrats sell us out, citing a fake philosophy of political comprise to right wing policies as a “virtue,” to cover their complicity in the fleecing of the middle class. According to Jeremiah Moss, a long-time and outspoken gentrification activist/documentarian, power plays like 1970’s housing commissioner Roger Starr’s influential notion of “planned shrinkage” and city policies that intentionally deprived poor communities of firefighting services were nothing compared to what was yet to come.

Widespread, purpose-built gentrification began in earnest in the 1980s, with Mayor Ed Koch’s business-friendly “renewal” policies driving out low-rent pickle shops, tenements, and dive bars. So-called deviants, bohemians, and the very poor were squeezed further by Rudy Giuliani’s crackdowns on jaywalkers, and street vendors—on top of his demolishing squats and armoring NYPD officers with military-grade equipment.

But for Moss, it was Michael Bloomberg who served hyper-gentrification’s kiss of death to the vulnerable post-9/11 city, and Mayor de Blasio’s lack of action on housing says a lot about where the so-called “Democrat” stands.

Be that as it may, it’s the poor that have felt the the financial and militarization of our country the hardest. Realestate started buying up blocks in New York where they never had interest, after all, the city wasn’t stopping them, Bloomberg welcomed their greed, entire local generational retailers were forced out, their kids were forced out. This lead to a massive transformation of New York, as a once largely low to middle class and/or immigrant haven to what it is today, a disgustingly overpriced vanilla luxury city that seeks to protect the upper class while criminalize the poor.

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

“De Blasio’s approach to development may not be turning out to be as different as many hoped it might be from that of the Bloomberg Administration. As of August 2014, a 116-page housing report by the new administration commits to building 200,000 afford- able housing units over ten years, but still emphasizes the primary role of government as facilitating private, market-driven development through public-private partnerships.2 The report endorses a continuation of the Bloomberg building boom, the idea being that, as the city increases its housing supply, rents will natu- rally come down because there will be more to go around for all. Tom Angotti points out, however, that over the past two decades, this trickle-down theory has failed: rents in the city have actually grown dra- matically despite an increase in the total housing sup- ply, while 250,000 units of rental housing have been deregulated.”

Like longtime tenants from Bed-Stuy to Harlem, African-Americans and West Indians who have made their homes for generations in Brooklyn neighborhood are scattering, as well as Latino communities muscled out by surging rents and, tenant advocates say. Landlords harass tenants, withhold repairs, or use evictions to make room for higher-income renters largely with impunity because the system and policing favor affluence and white communities.

Some move in with relatives. Some scrabble for a foothold in one of the city’s remaining cheap areas. And some give up on New York altogether.

This is prime example of what New York is suffering from, unregulated housing markets that want white and/or wealthy people to pay $3,000 a month in Brooklyn for a slice of the marketed version of a dream that is fading with all the people that gave birth to it. But make no mistake, New York is suffering from the betrayal of Democratic leadership including Bill de Blasio, Andrew Cuomo, and the entire IDC deflectors who side with right-wing racist policies, while tossing New Yorkers crumbs.

It’s no longer enough to be an artist here and do nothing about this and I refuse to cover bands or businesses that are part of the problem. I usually find i’m the only native New Yorker in a room at any given time, that’s why I’m endorsing the September 9th Brooklyn March against Gentrification, Racism & Police Violence and asking you join me in taking back our city.

I’m going to lend my voice, time, money, and put my feet on the ground to march with the people of this city. The real people of this city who still manage to get by with everything going against them. I’m going to raise my arms to lift my city with anyone who’s willing to do the same, it’s our city, and we need to put pressure with the weight of everything we’ve got to make it a habitable place once again for everyone. Are you with us?

Who’s Turning Out For New York?

The 441 Brooklyn Avenue Tenants Association
The 486 Brooklyn Avenue Tenants Association
ACT-UP Boston
The Artist Studio Affordability Project*
Bangla4Justice – Justice Translators
The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)
BlackLivesMatter – NYC Chapter The Brooklyn Community Bail Fund
Brooklyn Laundry Social Club
Brooklyn Treasures Uncovered
The Bronx is Not for Sale
Busk NY
The Coalition to End Broken Windows
The Co-Editors and Contributors of Zoned Out! Race, Displacement, and City Planning in New York City
The CUNY Adjunct Project
Donkeysaddle Projects
Elevtr Trax
El Grito de Sunset Park *
Errol’s Bakery and Catering
Equality for Flatbush*
Fight Back BayRidge
FUREE (Families United for Racial and Economic Equality)*
The Grand Putnam Tenants Association
Harriet’s Apothecary
Imani House, Inc
Mi Casa No Es Su Casa: Illumination Against Gentrification*
Movement for Justice in El Barrio
Movement to Protect the People (MTOPP)*
My Brooklyn, LLC, The Producer of the “My Brooklyn” Documentary
New York City Students for Justice in Palestine
NYCORE (NY Collective of Radical Educators)
NYC Stands with Standing Rock
New York Council for Housing Development
The People’s Power Assembly – NYC
The Philadelphia Tenants Union
Picture The Homeless
Queens Anti-Gentrification Project
Queens is NOT for Sale
Queens Neighborhoods United
Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP)
Radix Media
Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping
Ridgewood Tenants Union
Safe Outside the System Collective of the Audre Lorde Project*
The Social Justice Social Practice Collective, Pratt Institute
Southwest Brooklyn Tenant Union*
Third Root Community Health Center*
Troll Hole NYC
URIP (The Undoing Racism Internship Project)
Workers World Party
Why Accountability

To have your community group, anti-police brutality group or family, place of worship, small business, tenant organization, etc. endorse the Brooklyn-wide Day of Action against Racism, Gentrification & Police Brutality
Contact : info@bangentrification.org
or call/text (646) 820 -6039