Working Group Spotlight: Anti-Gentrification

You have to meet people where they are at. If the fight they want is around parks, let’s fight! It’s still anti-gentrification because they will come out on the other side with a team that knows something about getting into fights. When your landlord suddenly jacks up the rent, you want to already have an experienced team that has your back and can take action right away, rather than scramble to find one because it’s usually too late.
— Ian Gray-Stack

It's about building power

At our very first meeting on Feb. 4th, we agreed on a working definition of gentrification: A complex process in which real estate speculators, law enforcement, public officials, banks, and others replace less powerful tenants with tenants that can pay more rent. Landlords use this process to make money off bets they've placed on rising property values in certain neighborhoods.

Fundamentally, it is a question of power, which is why our Anti-Gentrification WG's chief strategy is to organize pockets of resistance through canvassing, workshops, and direct action. Whether we end up organizing around a lack of lighting, more frequent trash pick up, or any number of local issues, we are building relationships between people who grow accustomed to working together to achieve goals. In other words, we build power. 

We won $1,700 to organize in Sunset Park!

In January, the Anti-Gentrification Working Group applied for a Citizens Committee Neighborhood Grant in order to build a new neighborhood association in Sunset Park that can grow power and take action on local issues. We thought it was long shot because of the nature of the project, but it turns out WE WON!!

This summer we will be very active in Sunset Park and are currently focusing on finding other people who would be interested in joining us as we canvass, run workshops, and have a lot of fun meeting new residents! 

If you are interested in getting involved with any of the the anti-gentrification work going on, please email info@togetherbecause.org and someone will be in touch with you shortly.