Knowledge is power for northwest Bronx residents looking to take ownership of their community.
On Sunday, July 31, the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition launched ‘Our Bronx Roadmap from Displacement to Abundance’ celebrating alternative models for real affordable housing, community ownership and restorative conflict resolutions while offering legal and community services.
The alternative roadmap highlights restorative justice principles offering an alternative to student punishment and the school-to-prison pipeline; guaranteeing residents a voice in how their local economy should work and healthy affordable homes promoting mental health, stability and positive growth for families.
Residents also expressed their need for living wage jobs through an economy allowing families to lead sustainable and healthy lives.
The roadmap was inspired by residents enduring decades of housing rent hikes, a public school system penalizing youth, local hospitals closures and low wage jobs.
Leah James, lead Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance and economic development organizer for NWBCCC, said residents learned about local and boroughwide issues such as tenant harassment and the local economy.
She explained most tenants and business owners do not understand their rights or leases which often leads to harassment from their landlord.
NWBCCC hosts monthly committee meetings to better educate tenants on their rights to dignified living.
James added residents learned about upcoming local projects such as the proposed Kingsbridge National Ice Center by speaking with representatives and picking up a copy of the Community Benefits Agreement detailing KNIC’s services and how it will benefit the neighborhood.
“The roadmap is meant to engage the community to have a right to take ownership of where they live,” she said. “The Bronx is changing and it will continue to change in the years to come.”
NWBCCC invited Fundamental Business Services to the event and plans to have FBS attend their committee meetings.
NWBCCC expressed interest in having FBS’ outreach team visit Kingsbridge Road businesses to offer their services to the local merchants.
“The Bronx roadmap recently launched by the NWBCCC did not only help shine a light on our city’s current affordable housing crisis, but more importantly it served to inspire and include Bronxites in creating community oriented solutions to real affordability and socio-economic development,” he said.
NWBCCC is a member-led organization uniting people and institutions to strive for economic democracy and racial justice through intergenerational community organizing.
NWBCCC thanked local elected officials Senator Rivera, Assemblyman Victor Pichardo and council members Andy King and Ritchie Torres; Kingsbridge Merchants Association; KARA; Small Business Services NYC; Part of the Solution; NYS Nurses Association Union; Community Board 7; St. Nicholas Tolentine Church; Love Gospel Assembly; Fordham Manor and the Peace Poets.