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Upzoning uproar: Fed up with mayor’s rezonings, 65 groups to protest at City Hall

Dozens of organizations from across four boroughs — including an array of community, civic, cultural, environmental and preservationist groups — are joining together to demand an end to Mayor de Blasio’s upzonings.

The groups — which will rally by City Hall at Chambers and Centre Sts. on Wed., Dec. 16, at noon — charge that de Blasio’s upzonings are, in fact, largely a “giveaway to his developer friends and campaign donors.”

The event, billed as a “Save Our Soho/Save Our City” rally, will be protesting not only the mayor’s plans for Soho and Noho, but also his upzoning schemes throughout the city. Soho Alliance members will be featured speakers.

The groups are also demanding an immediate “pause” to Zoom land-use-review public meetings, such as ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure).

The activists charge that, in the current COVID climate, the Zoom meetings on land-use issues, like upzonings, are “tightly controlled by the Department of City Planning, do not meet the legal requirements for an actual public meeting, and inhibit true grassroots participatory democracy.”

“Moreover, the Zoom ‘public’ meetings are fraught with technical problems,” a press release for the protest said. “Remote meetings are not how ‘public’ meetings work. Public meetings are held in public, not in the cloud.”

In October, The Village Sun reported how city planners “muted” community protest over the Soho/Noho rezoning plan at a recent meeting by carefully curating which members of the public could speak.

Wednesday’s rally will use COVID precautions and masks are required.

Participants will include:

Art Against Displacement
Artist Studio Affordability Project
Artists Alliance
Astoria Tenant Union
Bed-Stuy Tenant Union
Bowery Alliance of Neighbors
Bronx Arts Initiative
Stop REBNY Bullies
Carrol Gardens Coalition for Respectful Development
Central Park West Neighbors Association
Chinatown Working Group
Civic Gap
Committee for Environmentally Responsible Development
Crown Heights Tenant Union
East River Park ACTION
East Village Mutual Aid
Flushing Anti-Displacement Alliance
Flushing Workers Center
Fort Tryon East Neighborhood Association
Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus
Holmes Issacs Coalition
Human-Scale NYC (Alliance for a Human-scale City)
Inwood Legal Action
Inwood Preservation
Justice for All Coalition
Lower East Side Dwellers
Lower Seaman Tenants Association
Madison Marine Homecrest Civic Association
MAGIC (Metro Area Governor’s Island Coalition)
Mexicanos Unidos
Mi Casa Resiste
MinKwon/Flushing Anti-displacement Alliance (FADA)
Movement to Protect the People (MTOPP)
Moving Forward Unidos
NoHo Neighborhood Association
Occupy Radio
Net Brooklyn
Orchard Street Block Association
Perfect City
Preserve BAM’s Historic District
Preserve Our Brooklyn Neighborhoods
Protect Sunset Park
Respect Brooklyn
Save Cortelyou
Seaport Coalition
Sixth Street Community Center
Society for Clinton Hill
SoHo Alliance
South Village Neighbors
Stop Irresponsible Frick Development
Stop Sunnyside Yards
Sunrise Movement
Sustainable Williamsburg
The Church of Stop Shopping
The Coalition to Protect Chinatown & the LES
Tribeca Trust
Voice of Gowanus
Washington Street Advocacy Group
Western Queens Community Land Trust
29th Street Association
9th Street A-1 Block Association

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