Friday, February 6, 2015

Columbia Students Oppose Columbia University's West Harlem-Manhattanville Construction Project--Part 9

In October 2014, the Columbia Student Coalition Against Gentrification (CAGe) released a 

report, titled Understanding Columbia University's Expansion into West Harlem: An Activist's Guide, which indicated why many Columbia students, Barnard students and neighborhood residents in Morningside Heights, West Harlem and Manhattanville are apparently still opposed to the Columbia University Administration's Kravis Business School construction/campus expansion project in West Harlem/Manhattanville. As the report notes:

".....(January 2014) Bill De Blasio is elected as New York's 109th mayor, inheriting a 46% poverty rate, homeless shelters swelling with over 50,000 people in need, 9,000 incarcerated on Riker's Island prison without formal charges, working class communities coming apart at the seams under the weight of gentrification, and a city budget that invests twice as much in police equipment than it does in combined welfare services.... To the surprise of much of his voting base, the new mayor appoints Bill Bratton as Police Commissioner, whose aggressive policies of 'pre-emptive policing' during the Giuliani administration laid the foundations for 'stop and frisk'.
"(Spring 2014) The first scaffoldings of Columbia’s new campus are erected on the Manhattanville expansion site.
"(May 2014) Bill De Blasio releases the city's proposal to combat the crisis in affordable housing. Housing New York: A Five-Borough, Ten-Year Plan, introduces new tax-exemptions and low-interest rates for developers....From the perspective of Manhattanville, the plan has little to offer. What the neighborhood needs in terms of housing policy is the protection of tenants living in apartment complexes that have already been built....De Blasio's proposal....neglects the crisis of corporate subsumption in many previously existing housing infrastructures...."