DEFEND THE BRONX SOCIAL CENTER

$3,070 of $3,500 goal

Raised by 84 people in 3 months
Created November 23, 2018
On October 20th, Take Back the Bronx tabled outside a workshop where city agencies and politicians were legitimizing the impending Southern Boulevard rezoning. As attendees trickled in, Bronx party boss Marcos Crespo deflected questions from the group outside and began arguing with us. When he exited later that afternoon, Crespo began livestreaming, baiting the residents outside into a confrontation.

In his video  (3:38), Crespo mentions Banana Kelly Improvement Association. We believe this was a direct threat to Banana Kelly, a local affordable housing and social services nonprofit, in an effort to have them bring Take Back the Bronx to heel. Banana Kelly, as Crespo knew, owns the building that the Bronx Social Center occupies, and the Social Center is a space which Take Back the Bronx helps to coordinate alongside other groups. Five days later, we received a call from community members saying the Bronx Social Center's sign had been taken down without notice. 

Take Back the Bronx members quickly scheduled a meeting with Banana Kelly staff, groups who use the Center such as the Young Warriors Plus, HydroPunk, and the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, and our supporters. At that meeting Banana Kelly denied receiving political pressure from Crespo or other machine politicians. They assured us the issue was a technicality: the Social Center space is currently listed as "storage" on the building plans filed with the city, and that label needs to be changed or they risk fines. Of course we suspect the two events may be connected: the Bronx political machine is a petty fiefdom that shamelessly gentrifies under the guise of "bringing money" or "bringing jobs" into the borough, while marginalizing and punishing residents who oppose their plans. Nevertheless, the Social Center is taking Banana Kelly at their word and is now raising funds to resolve the situation. 

Months ago, the Center had drawn up the necessary plans and paperwork to change the building's "certificate of occupancy" with the help of an architect comrade. Now we simply need to raise funds to hire an "expediter" who will carry the paperwork through the city bureaucracy. While we do so, Banana Kelly has agreed to consider writing up a lease or memorandum of agreement, which would guarantee the Social Center use of the space if we put this money into the property. We look forward to reaching this outcome. 

If you are able, please donate to the Take Back the Bronx war chest! It will be used to provide a secure housing situation for the Bronx Social Center, and continue fighting gentrification in our borough. Like the anthem says: "Look myself in the mirror, I say 'we gonna win.' Knocked down nine times, but I get up ten."
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$3,070 of $3,500 goal

Raised by 84 people in 3 months
Created November 23, 2018
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RS
$100
Rafelina Sanchez
18 days ago
SM
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Sandra Martinez
19 days ago
TB
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The Bronx Brand
1 month ago
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CB
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