December 08, 2020

Before the City Council Committee Vote, Community Members and Organizations Deliver Petitions and Open Letter Demanding Councilmember Koo Vote NO on SWFD Rezoning

Flushing, New York - Community members and organization representatives delivered 1,000+ petitions demanding Councilmember Koo vote no to the Special Flushing Waterfront District rezoning to his office today. They also delivered an Open Letter to Councilmember Koo and all City Councilmembers urging them to do the same and not allow more luxury development to drive up already high rents and taxes. The petition and letter delivery comes before the New York City Council Committee on Land Use prepares to vote on the proposal to rezone the Special Flushing Waterfront District on December 9th. 

 

The delegation was met by a staff member at Councilmember Koo’s office who informed the delegation that he was simply there to pick up the petitions. Members of the...

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November 17, 2020

Residents and Community-Based Organizations Demand New York City Council Member Peter Koo Oppose the Special Flushing Waterfront District on Behalf of the Community

A coalition of organizations and residents representing the Flushing community held a press conference to demand that New York City Council Member Peter Koo oppose the Special Flushing Waterfront District (SFWD) application as a member of the Land Use Committee and before a Council-wide vote expected in December. The groups organizing the press conference are Flushing Anti-Displacement Alliance, Flushing for Equitable Development and Urban Planning and five of its member organizations: MinKwon Center for Community Action, Flushing Workers Center, Guardians of Flushing Bay, the Greater  Flushing Chamber of Commerce, and Chhaya Community Development Corporation. 

 

The press conference was held in response to Council Member Peter Koo’s strong support...

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September 22, 2020

ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN LEADERS ORGANIZE VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE ON NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAY, URGE COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO MOBILIZE AND REGISTER TO VOTE FOR NOVEMBER 3 GENERAL ELECTION

FLUSHING, New York -- Asian Pacific Americans Voting & Organizing to Increase Civic Engagement (APA VOICE), a non-partisan coalition of 19 community-based organizations, organized a voter registration drive on National Voter Registration Day, ahead of the general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Asian Americans are the fastest-growing segment of eligible voters out of the major racial and ethnic groups in the United States. More than 11 million will be able to vote this year, making up nearly 5% of the nation’s eligible voters. While one of the biggest barriers to AAPI civic participation is voter registration, when registered, AAPIs have comparable turnout rates compared to other affinity communities.

 

Sandra Choi, Civic Engagement Manager at...

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September 15, 2020

Flushing Mobility Collaborative Community Survey Launch

FLUSHING, NY — The Flushing Mobility Collaborative, comprised of six nonprofit organizations — Asian Americans for Equality, Child Center of NY, Chinese-American Planning Council, MinKwon Center for Community Action, Queens Public Library, and RIVER FUND — announced today that it is launching a community survey to better understand and solve the economic challenges in Flushing.

“I am thrilled to join the Flushing Mobility Collaborative in celebrating the launch of our community survey,” said Wayne Ho, President & CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC). “Since we started this work last year, CPC has worked with the collaborative to facilitate community-led efforts to better understand how to lift Flushing families...

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September 12, 2020

LOCAL RESIDENTS ATTEND “FIGHT FOR FLUSHING” RALLY AND MARCH URGING NY COUNCIL MEMBER PETER KOO OPPOSE FLUSHING REZONING

Flushing, NY — On Saturday, September 12, 2020, the Flushing Anti-Displacement Alliance (FADA)organized an in-person protest in downtown Flushing urging NY Council Member Peter Koo oppose the redevelopment of the Special Flushing Waterfront District (SFWD), supported by the MinKwon Center for Community Action and Flushing for Equitable Development and Urban Planning (FED UP) coalition. With over 80 local Flushing residents and allies in attendance, the protest comes the weekend before the City Planning Commission’s (CPC) virtual public hearing on SFWD on September 16.

 

The SFWD proposal, developed by FWRA LLC., would transform the area of downtown Flushing by adding 1,725 new luxury condos, two new hotels, and high-end retail...

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June 16, 2020

APA VOICE RELEASES SURVEY OF CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES, URGES COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO VOTE IN PRIMARY ELECTIONS

FLUSHING, New York -- Asian Pacific Americans Voting & Organizing to Increase Civic Engagement (APA VOICE), a non-partisan coalition of 19 community-based organizations, released the 2020 Congressional Primary Candidate Survey on June 16, ahead of New York’s  primary elections on June 23. APA VOICE surveyed all primary candidates in the five districts with the highest concentrations of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) residents in New York City, namely District 6 (39.8% AAPI), District 10 (18.8% AAPI), District 7 (18.0% AAPI), District  14 (16.7% AAPI), and District 5 (14.1% AAPI). The survey covers candidates’ views on healthcare, economic recovery, housing, immigration, and transportation, and also provides  key information on voting...

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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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