Fulton Houses tenants elect independent officers, announce next meeting, plan next action

Fight For NYCHA co-hosts an important meeting to offer autonomy and structure to Fulton Houses residents.

At an action-planning meeting held on Saturday, 11 May, tenants of Fulton Houses made several agreements that would serve as a foundation for advocacy work to save public housing in Chelsea from being demolished and from being put into the hands of private landlords.

  • Since NYCHA is comprised of 90% Black and Latinx families, this means that the politicians, who are supporting each of the demolition of buildings at Fulton Houses and the putting of public housing into the hands of private developers, are making a political calculation that they can exploit the very visible minorities, who are public housing tenants.
  • Politicians supporting the plans announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City) to demolish public housing apartment buildings and to put public housing into the hands of private landlords, are keeping quiet about the racial implications of their actions or support.
  • We must stand united in saying that what Mayor de Blasio and his supporters are doing is wrong.
  • Unless elected officials join us in this fight, we must be prepared to challenge those elected officials.
  • The processes we undertake together must have integrity, and this means that Fulton Houses tenants must agree. This also means that we cannot allow anybody to disrupt or distract or bring outside politics into the fight to save Fulton Houses or NYCHA. Fulton Houses tenants agreed that if anybody tried to derail our agenda, they would support asking that person to leave.
  • It was important to make clear that for any new, independent tenants’ associations elections that may take place for the Fulton Houses, only Fulton Houses tenants may vote.
  • Any groups wishing to show up to our events must :
    • oppose each of the demolition of apartment buildings and the RAD conversion of Fulton Houses ;
    • call-out Mayor de Blasio and his supporters ; and
    • oppose the racism of RAD and the divestment of public housing.

Civil rights attorney Norman Siegel spoke to Fulton Houses tenants about the importance of “keeping public housing public.”

Mary, left, and Jackie were elected as president and vice-president of an independent tenants association.

Amelia was elected as secretary of an independent tenants association of Fulton Houses.

Next steps

Fight For NYCHA will hold a follow-up meeting on Saturday, 18 May, at 3 pm at the same location. Tenants and activists have agreed on the first action, the plans for which will be finalised on the date of our next meeting.

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