In late December 2018, North Star Fund made a $5,000 Rapid Response grant to CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities (CAAAV) for building power against Amazon’s planned corporate headquarters (HQ2) in Long Island City.
CAAAV works to build grassroots community power across diverse poor and working-class Asian immigrant and refugee communities in New York City.
The location of HQ2 is in Long Island City, literally next door to a huge New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) development. The Queensbridge Houses, the United States’ largest public housing development, provide housing to about 7,000 residents. For the past five years, CAAAV has been organizing in the Queensbridge Houses, building the power of Bangladeshi, Korean and Chinese tenants for language access, racial justice and better living conditions.
CAAAV will be organizing 200+ directly impacted working-class Asian tenants in NYCHA public housing against Amazon’s expansion, starting in Queensbridge and expanding into Astoria and Ravenswood.
Gentrification in Long Island City started long before Amazon, but the announcement of HQ2’s new potential location created a spike in real estate speculation within days. On real estate website Redfin, searches to buy property in Long Island City rose by 794% in the first ten days of November.
These drastically rising prices will push out the small businesses that neighborhood residents rely on and they threaten the future of the Queensbridge Houses. With NYCHA already turning to privatization to make up for budget shortfalls through “NextGen NYCHA,” the rapid increase in the value of NYCHA’s land puts public housing in even greater jeopardy.
Bringing in a trillion-dollar company will impact our tenants’ neighborhood, from small businesses to transportation to public schools. There is no room for concession. Housing is a basic need for survival.
What can you do?
Follow CAAAV on Facebook to see how you can be part of their campaign.