Wednesday, May 20, 2009

David Galarza Responds to Re-Zoning Comments

See the comments section for David Galarza's response to other Sunset Park residents' comments about Re-Zoning and Galarza's participation. Sorry about the extra step, but I don't have the time or patience to re-type it into the body of this post. Blame my feverish babe.

Tonight is the CB 7 meeting about re-zoning and other neighborhood issues (but somehow I think the RZ will be prevalent). Be at 43rd and 4th at 6:30 PM (perhaps earlier) to speak, hopefully listen, and perhaps come to a clear decision.

Remember, the first two comments are from DAVID GALARZA, not me. (He recently ended his campaign for City Council.) I've kept my own opinion about re-zoning out of it. However, I can say that almost all the impassioned commenters on both sides (I think I may be on the third side) have, in addition to salient points, used pseudo-reasoning speckled with ugliness. Several comments were just deleted due to excessively nasty diction.


BestViewInBrooklyn said...

While your bibulous vitriol is hardly worthy of a response, I feel it is my civic duty to correct your revisionist history as it relates to the current situation confronting the community of Sunset Park.

For starters, do you remember a certain meeting at the Grand Prospect Hall where Mr. Murphy was turning beet red while screaming at Community Board 7 Chair Randolph Peers because a certain 12-story luxury building was going up in your backyard without so much as a peep from the impotent Community Board? You guys were so mad and rightfully so.

Remember the meeting we had at your home some time later (you were so nice to us then, coffee, cookies, etc) with other local leaders including Ivette Cabrera and Johnny Trelles. I certainly can’t forget the names Ginnie used to describe Peers, Board Member Aaron Brashear and Council Member Gonzalez. I would love to remind you but I believe this is a family blog.

I also recall how we, the Sunset Park Alliance of Neighbors (SPAN), were the ones that initiated the protests around the 42nd Street condo, held the press conferences, wrote the letters and press releases, and organized a day-long, door-to-door petition collection drive that collected thousands of signatures calling for a responsible rezoning (how could you forget so soon, we had so much fun. I hope you still have the SPAN t-shirts!)

It’s too bad that you now resort to “e-mail virtual crap” to distort and disrespect all the people involved in this very honest, grassroots exercise in civic participation.

Somewhere along the line, and soon after SPAN forced, that’s right, WE forced Gonzalez to get involved and the developers to do the right thing, you both got a call and then scheduled a private, closed door meeting with Gonzalez. It seems that it was a meeting not unlike the one Gonzalez recently had with Mayor Bloomberg where she sold out democracy and her constituents by supporting his term extension bill but, I digress.

It was obvious that you came to some kind of “understanding” with Gonzalez and immediately the personal attacks and attempts to divide and marginalize SPAN began. Fortunately, the true activists prevailed and SPAN survived while you both struggled to start something called SPARZ with the blessing of CB 7 Chair Peers and Gonzalez. That so-called group, by the way, has only represented 2 (two, dos) people since its inception: Tom and Ginnie Murphy. SPAN, however, much to your disdain, and of Gonzalez and Peers as well, continues to thrive, hold town hall meetings, produce reports, conduct workshops and attract a wide array of Sunset Park residents and supporters.

BestViewInBrooklyn said...

(Part 2)

Now to address the subject of outsiders, I would be remiss if I did not say your comments with regard to the Chinese community are condescending, arrogant, paternalistic, some might even say racist. It doesn’t surprise me however, since that’s how many members (at least the poor members) of the mostly Latino and Chinese MAJORITY of Sunset Park have been treated during this rezoning process.

Indeed, members of the Chinese Staff & Workers Association not only live and work in Sunset Park, they have done more to fight injustices than either of you could ever claim to have done in your lives. This current struggle to save their homes and families from this irresponsible rezoning is merely another battle for these courageous men and women. Please don’t disgrace yourselves anymore by trying to disrespect their valuable contributions to this community. We won’t allow it.

Additionally, you conveniently seem to forget that CB 7 Chair Peers and the majority of the Executive Committee are white, well-to-do men from Windsor Terrace or Park Slope (OUTSIDERS! YIKES!). They are the ones making the decisions for a neighborhood that, once again, is mostly comprised of Latino and Chinese hard working families. No race or class war here. Just stating an obvious fact. You can’t make this up!

Finally, as it pertains to yours truly. In case you didn't know it, I still reside in Community Board 7 and even if I didn’t, I grew up in Sunset Park, have done the bulk of my community work in Sunset Park, and will always fight for the community of Sunset Park because I can’t sit back and be silent while good, hard working, honest people get screwed by ineffective, sell-out politicians, failed policies and shady bureaucrats and developers. Hey, those are all good reasons for challenging the status quo … wouldn’t you agree?

Believe me Tom, my reasons for running are even more valid today than they were in 2005. In this rezoning process alone we face a Community Board with a truckload of members who are in bed with the politician who is in bed with the Mayor: You can’t make this up!

You’re a smart guy Tom, follow the money! You should be the first one insisting that anyone with any kind of financial dealing (either through a donation or discretionary funding or whatever) should recuse themselves from this vote or even from the board. Of course they won’t and they’ll do exactly as their master has ordered.

By the way, thank you Tom for coming out to Park Slope and the CBID meeting. I am very proud of my affiliation with this powerful democratic reform club that endorsed me in 2005.It’s a democratic reform club so of course Gonzalez would never bother to show up and although one other challenger appeared, they went with non-endorsement in this race.

Neither of you deserve an explanation for the decision I have made. I reserve that for friends, allies and those who truly care about the issues affecting the 38th City Council district. Suffice it to say however, that electoral politics has never been the reason why I got involved with local issues. Unlike you, I’m driven by my passion for justice. I don’t need a title for that and will never stop fighting for the people of Sunset Park.

Finally Tom and Ginnie, SPAN members were at the meetings Wednesday and Saturday (I was marching with cervical cancer survivors in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, otherwise I would have attended both meetings). But where was Sara Gonzalez last Wednesday or Saturday? “So much for commitment to the community.”

Hope to see you both Wednesday night and I truly hope that CB 7 members (please surprise me!) vote with the majority of those members of the community who spoke out AGAINST this flawed rezoning proposal.

La Lucha Sigue,

David Galarza

Anonymous said...

It's about time someone exposed these self-serving hypocrites for what they are.
The people in this neighborhood are not stupid pushovers which is why they and their masters are upset.

Anonymous said...

This is all politicking to DG, SPAN, CW and related groups.

Having attended the Wednesday hearing, 99% of the Chinese residents who spoke were not even in the district. They were brought as props to further dilute the realities (pro and con) of the rezoning plan for Sunset Park. it was a long night, mostly with a lot of political posturing.

In my opinion, having been to many of the meetings and workshops, the plan is well thought out and will benefit the community in the long run. Caps on building height, lower FAR on the side streets and a affordable housing component (optional I realize) are all good things for the community.

Displacement, higher rent and over development will happen regardless of the rezoning, better to have a guide to keep those who would abuse the current zoning at bay, or at least, at check.

And affordable housing is a huge component, it's just not something that can be fixed by rezonings in general. That is another dialog.

Be educated and make yourself heard, no mater which side of the topic you stand. But please stop spreading misinformation and untruths about what the plan really is and what the supposed majority of Sunset Park residents actually want.

Anonymous said...

and tell me again how this plan is good for the community and will not result in displacement of the current population?

Anonymous said...

The parts of Sunset Park that need protection are the side streets. Too many developers have constructed hideous, tall (5-6 stories) mid-block apartment buildings on the former sites of 1, 2 or 3 family homes. See 60th Street between 5th & 6th Aves, a beautiful street of brownstones and small red-brick single-family (and formerly single-family) homes. Fourth Avenue as it is today is an eyesore and the entire neighborhood would benefit from responsible development (even 7-story buildings, except in the vicinity of the Park) there.

Anonymous said...

Well that view is going to soon be history.