June 08, 2020

Community Groups Challenge Luxury Flushing Development in Court

New York, NY—A coalition of organizations and individuals representing the diverse community of Flushing filed a lawsuit against the City Planning Commission and Department of City Planning (DCP) both under the control of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, in an effort to stop the rezoning and development of the Flushing Creek Waterfront. The groups filing suit are Chhaya Community Development Corporation, MinKwon Center for Community Action and the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce. They are joined by local activist Robert Loscalzo. Their lawsuit alleges that the mayoral agencies are allowing private developers, FWRA LLC, to avoid the required environmental review process. As a result, the developers’ application for a change in the law is deceiving about the potential impacts of...

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June 05, 2020

Flushing Community Stands in Unity with Black Lives Matter

FLUSHING, NY – The Flushing community condemns the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota, and other recent murders by police and vigilantes including Tony McDade in Florida, Finan Berhe in Maryland, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, and Manuel Ellis in Tacoma, Washington. These names only scratch the surface of a seemingly endless list of violence on Black lives. Exacerbated by the current pandemic, Black communities have already been experiencing COVID-19 related deaths at three times the average rate, further evidencing the distinct circumstances and structural inequities along racial lines.

 

In Flushing, a largely immigrant community with the highest concentration of Asian Americans in the City, the racialization of the virus has led to a...

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April 30, 2020

MinKwon Center Supports Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris’ Bill to Suspend Rent and Mortgage Payments due to the Economic Impact of COVID-19

Albany, NY — on March 23rd, 2020, Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris, representing New York’s 12th State Senate district, sponsored bill S8125A that addresses economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by canceling rent and mortgage payments to certain tenants, commercial renters, and homeowners for 90 days. The accompanying Assembly version of the bill, A10224A, was sponsored by Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou, representing New York’s 65th district. New York City elected officials, including Speaker of City Council Corey Johnson and City Comptroller Scott Stringer, came out in support of S8125A and A10224A, affirming their stance that there should be a moratorium on rent and mortgage payments for impacted residents.

 

MinKwon Center for...

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March 12, 2020

To Prevent Undercount, Asian American Organizations Begin Canvassing NYC for 2020 Census

FLUSHING, New York ​-- The Asian Pacific American Complete Count Committee (APA CCC), a coalition of 16 community-based organizations, joined with State  Assemblyman Ron Kim as well as a representative from State Senator Toby Stavisky’s  office to launch a campaign to mobilize Asian immigrant communities across New York  City to respond to the 2020 Census beginning on March 12 -- the first day of the self-response period. While Asians are the fastest growing racial or ethnic group in  New York City, they also have the highest poverty rates and among the lowest English proficiency rates of any group, placing them at heightened risk of being undercounted in 2020.

 

In recent months, the APA CCC, co-led by the MinKwon Center for...

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February 21, 2020

Flushing for Equitable Development & Urban Planning (FED UP) Coalition Members and Allies Call on Queens Borough President to Oppose Flushing Rezoning

Kew Gardens, NY -- On Thursday, February 20, 2020, members of the Flushing for Equitable Development & Urban Planning (FED UP) Coalition appeared at the Land Use Public Hearing at Queens Borough Hall to call on Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee to formally oppose the Special Flushing Waterfront District (SFWD). Following the Community Board 7 public hearing on February 10, the public hearing chaired by the Borough President was the next phase of the ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) process, and an advisory vote from the Borough President is expected within 30 days from the CB7 vote that occurred on February 10.

Prior to the public hearing, members and allies of the FED UP coalition congregated on the steps of Queens Borough Hall for a press conference to...

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February 11, 2020

Local Community-Based Organizations and Local Residents Denounce Community Board 7 Vote Approving Flushing Rezoning

Flushing, NY — On Monday, February 10, 2020, Community Board 7 held its one and only public hearing on the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) process on the redevelopment of the Special Flushing Waterfront District (SFWD), followed by a non-binding vote for recommendation. MinKwon Center and other member organizations of Flushing for Equitable Development & Urban Planning (FED UP) mobilized over 200 community members to the public hearing, and organized a rally and press conference before the start of the hearing.

Local Flushing residents provided live testimony before Community Board 7, expressing deep concerns of a massive development of luxury units that would impact the ongoing displacement of longtime residents and small businesses due to skyrocketing...

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January 22, 2020

Local Community Residents and Community Organizations Oppose Flushing Rezoning Before Community Board 7

Flushing, NY — On Tuesday, January 21, 2020, Community Board 7 was originally scheduled to have its official committee hearing on the ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) process on the redevelopment of the Special Flushing Waterfront District. Community Board 7 began the ULURP process on December 19, 2019 to rezone downtown Flushing and approve construction of approximately 1,700 luxury apartments and hotel on the Flushing waterfront.

The Board began the ULURP process with little to no prior community notice or feedback and no proper Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Local Flushing residents have deep concerns of how a massive development of luxury units would impact the ongoing displacement of longtime residents and small businesses due to skyrocketing market...

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September 23, 2019

Local Organizations Help Kick Off National Voter Registration Day and Urge Asian Communities to be Civically Engaged

Flushing, NY —Asian American organizations hosted a press conference at the MinKwon Center for Community Action for National Voter Registration Day. The event was organized by Asian Pacific Americans Voting & Organizing to Increase Civic Engagement (APA VOICE), a non-partisan collaboration of 19 organizations seeking to increase civic engagement in the Asian American community. APA VOICE organizations were joined by New York State Assembly Member Ron Kim and other local leaders and registered voters to discuss the importance of elections and voting.

 

MinKwon and members of APA VOICE reminded the Asian American community to vote in the upcoming general election on November 5, 2019, and gave details on New York’s first rollout of early voting nine...

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June 12, 2019

MinKwon Center Responds to Assembly, Senate Agreement of Rent Reform Bills

Flushing, NY — On Tuesday, June 11, 2019, the New York State Assembly and Senate agreed to a series of rent reform bills that, when passed, would be the most significant win to New York tenants in decades, and a major blow to developers. Seven of the nine bills introduced under the Universal Rent Control platform are slated to a vote, either in their original form or in modified proposals. The bills will abolish several loopholes that predatory landlords have regularly exploited to hike up rents and evict tenants, including vacancy decontrol, which allows landlords to take apartments out of rent-regulated status when the rent price reaches a certain threshold; and vacancy bonus, which allows landlords to raise rents by up to 20 percent whenever a tenant moves out of a...

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June 07, 2019

Queens Community, Faith and Immigrant Leaders Unite for Driver’s Licenses for All

Flushing, NY — On Friday, June 7, 2019, the MinKwon Center, elected officials, and faith based organizations spoke on the need to pass the Green Light Bill in New York State before the legislative cycle ends in two weeks. The Green Light Bill would allow all people, regardless of their documentation status, to access a driver’s license, which is vital for people all across the city and state to go about their everyday lives. These immigrant drivers are also workers in our businesses and our farms, community members at our local churches and community centers, and our neighbors who keep NYS running. 12 other states have successfully implemented laws to allow undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses, and NYS needs to follow their example. By passing the...

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June 07, 2019

Queens Community, Faith and Immigrant Leaders Rally for Universal Rent Control

Flushing, NY — On Friday, June 7, 2019, the MinKwon Center for Community Action, elected officials and community and faith-based organizations held a rally for Universal Rent Control and housing justice for all New Yorkers. Due to loopholes in state rent laws that favor landlords and developers, more than 100 New Yorkers are evicted from their homes every day. The Universal Rent Control platform is a package of nine bills in the state legislature that would enforce existing rent laws and expand access to affordable housing for millions of New Yorkers. Communities are demanding no more special treatment for the real estate lobby, and instead the passage of legislation that protects housing as a basic human right, not a privilege.

 

"Half of all New Yorkers are...

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April 01, 2019

Asian Pacific American Complete Count Committee Announces One-Year Countdown to 2020 Census And Its Importance to Communities

Flushing, NY — The Asian Pacific American Complete Count Committee (APA CCC), led by Chhaya Community Development Corporation and the MinKwon Center for Community Action, hosted a community rally and press conference today to begin the one-year countdown to the 2020 Census as part of a statewide Census Day of Action, along with the Queens Public Library, NY state and local elected officials, and other community-based organizations across the City. The 2020 Census will be officially launched on April 1, 2020, and community leaders generated awareness by speaking on the importance of participating in the 2020 Census and how the Census impacts and benefits communities, especially hard-to-count immigrant communities and communities of color. At the event, APA CCC launched its...

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February 28, 2019

Statement on New York City Comptroller Stringer's Revealing Report on Immigration Enforcement in NYC

Flushing, NY — The MinKwon Center for Community Action joined with New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer on Thursday, February 21st at a press conference to release his latest report on immigration enforcement in NYC, titled The Demographics of Detention. Comptroller Stringer’s report reveals the stark increase of arrests, deportations and immigration court proceedings in NYC for the first two years of the Trump administration, compared to the last year of the Obama administration. The report gave a clear picture that NYC is a major target by immigration enforcement, and more undocumented New Yorkers are at increased risk of deportation.

 

Deportations in NYC have soared 150% since Trump came to office, and arrests by ICE agents have increased by...

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January 07, 2019

MinKwon Center and APA Organizations Announce 2019 NY State Immigration Legislative Priorities

Flushing, NY — The MinKwon Center for Community Action hosted a press conference today with other Asian Pacific American community-based organizations and NY State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, NY Assemblymember David Weprin, representatives from NY Assemblymember Ron Kim’s office, announcing our New York State immigration legislative priorities for the 2019 legislative session. MinKwon’s priorities are for the NY State DREAM Act, which would provide state-level financial aid opportunities for all immigrant students pursuing higher education, and for the Green Light NY Campaign, which would provide access to state drivers’ licenses for all immigrant New Yorkers. MinKwon believes that 2019 will be a decisive year for immigrant communities to advance legislation that...

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December 04, 2018

APA Organizations Announce Launch of New York APA Complete Count Committee for the 2020 Census

Flushing, NY— U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng hosted a press conference today announcing the launch of the New York City APA Complete Count Committee, organized by the MinKwon Center for Community Action, a member of New York Counts 2020, and other Asian Pacific American organizations and leaders, alongside Jeff Behler, New York Regional Director of the U.S. Census Bureau and New York Assembly Member Ron Kim. The purpose of this committee is to have a fair and equitable 2020 Census, coordinate messaging and community outreach especially in hard-to-count Asian American communities, and to advocate against initiatives that would hurt a fair count, including the addition of a citizenship question. A fair and equitable count is critical in determining the economic, social and political...

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