Equality for Flatbush defines ‘gentrification’ as a concerted, deliberate effort to price out low-to-middle income residents from neighborhoods by city government, corporations, real estate developers, and landlords in favor of renting, selling, and catering to people of higher and/or more flexible incomes. We see gentrification as an intersectional issue that is deeply connected to the ways that race, class, gender, sexuality, gender identity, age, ability, nation of origin, immigration status, physical and mental capacity, etc. impact individuals and our communities.
We know from first-hand experience that the same unscrupulous property owners who use tactics to force long-time older tenants of color out of their rent-stabilized apartments will turn around and illegally overcharge incoming younger white tenants for the same apartment.
For this very reason, we believe that all of us-long-time and new residents, communities of color and white communities, low-income and middle-class people – have a stake in the urgent struggle to save affordable housing in Brooklyn.
If you are a BROOKLYN residential or commercial TENANT or HOMEOWNER
experiencing harassment or need housing, legal or organizing resources
please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call /text (646)820-6039
En Español: (513) 445-8532
En Kréyol: (707) 200-3692
Emergency Town Hall on White Supremacy and Gentrification in Flatbush, East Flatbush, and Crown Heights
Saturday December 1st 1:30-4pm at the Flatbush Library at 22 Linden Blvd
Join the Washington Family and your neighbors to talk about strategies to fight gentrification and white supremacy in Flatbush.
We believe that fighting gentrification, racism, police violence, and white supremacy is a fight we all — long-time and new residents, communities of color and white communities, low-income to middle-class people — must be part of.
For more information and to RSVP: B4G@equalityforflatbush.org
We want to say thank you to the 60+ People who spoke out and marched today at March against White Supremacy and Gentrification in Flatbush . We thank all of the radical and Black journalists that came out to fight the corporate media white out of event . Stay tuned for more actions ! #BrooklynIsNotForSale
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BEFORE IT’S GONE // TAKE IT BACK: Documenting Brooklyn – Fighting Gentrification (B4G) is a Brooklyn-wide neighborhood and web-based response to the crisis of gentrification of Brooklyn, NY. www.beforeitsgone.co *
This website is a way for every day New Yorkers to tell their stories about was happening to them right now, on the ground. This is the place to share pictures and videos of OUR BROOKLYN. For us to meet your family – birth and chosen. It is the place to tell the stories about what it was like to grow up in Brooklyn or when you first arrived from Haiti, Bangladesh, Puerto Rico, Italy, Korea or wherever else. We want your footage of Old-Timers events in Red Hook, Brownsville and Bushwick. We want you to post pictures from your Quinceañeras, bar/bat mitzvahs, high school graduations, weddings, baby showers, Brooklyn LGBTQ Pride and Lunar New Year celebrations. This is the site that CELEBRATES the cultural, racial, ethnic, linguistic, social and economic diversity of #Brooklyn. #BeforeItsGone #TakeItBack
To Learn More : B4G Talking Points 2017
Our main goals are to:
- Organize “No Eviction Zones” throughout Brooklyn – block by block, building by building
- Maintain the 1st ever social media platform to resist gentrification by amplifying the stories of low-to-middle income Brooklyn residents
- Provide vital legal, housing and community organizing resources to help keep Brooklyn residents in their homes and small businesses in our communities
B4G 2017 Statistics:
E4F receives between 1-4 calls/emails/Facebook messages a day from residents requesting housing, legal, or community organizing referrals.
In 2017, we conducted 45 formal intakes with homeowners, small business owners, and tenants – including NYCHA, unregulated, rent-stabilized, and rent-controlled tenants – who expressed interest in engaging in a B4G campaign
25 of the 45 intakes (56%) led to either a B4G “No Eviction Zone” public campaign or an E4F private attorney taking their case
These 45 residents lived across 12 Brooklyn neighborhoods: Bedford-Stuyvesant/Clinton Hill, Bensonhurst, Canarsie, Crown Heights, Cypress Hill/Brownsville, East Flatbush, East New York, Flatbush, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Sunset Park, and Williamsburg. E4F also conducted 2 campaigns for tenants living in The Lower East Side and Queens, NY .
Equality for Flatbush is a grassroots resident-led, volunteer-based organization that currently does not have a full-time staff or an office.
E4F provided a Private Lawyer and/or Community Organizing Campaign for 12 individual rent-stabilized, NYCHA and unregulated tenants or households in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Crown Heights, East Flatbush, East New York, Flatbush and Sunset Park as well as a tenant living in NYCHA housing in the Lower East Side and a rent-stabilized tenant living in Queens, NY.
4 out of the 12 individual tenants or households were unregulated, meaning they have little legal protection against eviction under New York State law.
Through a private attorney and legal intern, E4F began legally representing and conducting interviews of clients of a supportive housing program who were being targeted for eviction by a predatory landlord
Tenant Associations/Building-wide Organizing of Rent-Stabilized Tenants:
In 2017, E4F engaged in tenant organizing in approximately 23 historically rent-stabilized buildings in Brooklyn.
We helped to create or have supported the work of 15 Tenant Associations in 2017.
E4F organized or supported the work of 4 “Tenant Congresses”, where 2 or more Tenant Associations were fighting the same landlord/management company.
As of 12/29/2017, E4F is working with 10 Tenant Associations and is in the process of organizing 3 more. 7 of out 10 of these tenant associations are currently engaged in or in the process of filing a legal action against their landlord
As of 12/29/2017, E4F is working on legal and/or community organizing campaigns on the behalf of 9 Homeowners in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of East Flatbush, East New York, Bed-stuy and Prospect Heights
7 of the 9 Homeowners are seeking damages or fighting displacement due to real estate developers
All 9 Homeowners are Black or Latinx identified
To date, E4F has won the renewal of 3 commercial leases through private negotiation and/or community campaigns. We have also made several legal referrals, as well as provided free or low-cost legal representation to 1 small business and 1 Community Garden in Brooklyn.
In 2017, E4F provided legal or community organizing support for 5 long-time small business owners, 1 Merchant Association and 1 Community Garden. These business entities were located in the neighborhoods of Crown Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, Flatbush, Park Slope and East New York
Here are also the current E4F Working Groups/Teams to Join:
- Translation/Language Accessibility Team
- The Fundraising Committee
- Administrative & Office Team includes Graphic Designers & Artists
- Social Media & Online Outreach Team includes building the content for www.beforeitsgone.co
- B4G Organizers : focused on supporting Tenants, Small Businesses & Homeowners
- Real Estate Watch : Investigative Research and Resource Team:
- B4G Tenant Harassment Documentation Team : for Videographers & Filmmakers
- League of Extraordinary Lawyers
Please contact us at : email@example.com or (646) 820-6039. Please feel free to join our B4G Volunteers gogglegroups in the meantime: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/b4g-volunteers
CURRENT B4G CAMPAIGNS TO SUPPORT
New #EqualityforFlatbush Video #ThisIsFlatbush : Fighting Back Against the Corporate Rebranding of Flatbush, Brooklyn #ThisIsFlatbush #FlatbushForever #LittleCaribbean #Beforeitsgone #TakeItBack #BrooklynisNotforSale
B4G sticker sightings:
Just a saw a #BeforeItsgone Sticker ???
Please TAKE A PICTURE & Post it to social media using #beforeitsgone hashtag OR send the picture to firstname.lastname@example.org or text (646)820-6039
Please post widely
Equality for Flatbush is investigating the online attacks and silencing of people of color and anti-gentrification forces on “Prospect Lefferts Gardens & Brooklyn Neighbors” Facebook page
In the last two weeks, in response to a neighborhood march against white supremacy and gentrification in Flatbush on November 3rd, there was an increase in the amount of online attacks against people of color and anti-gentrification activists on the “Prospect Lefferts Gardens & Brooklyn Neighbors” community page. Several people spoke out about how this online community was an “unsafe place for people of color, ” which is a violation of Facebook’s Community Standards. The situation then escalated on November 4th, when several people, including four Equality for Flatbush activists, were blocked and purged without warning from the page by the “Prospect Lefferts Gardens & Brooklyn Neighbors” Facebook administrators.
We encourage people to report racist incidents from the “Prospect Lefferts Gardens & Brooklyn Neighbors” Facebook page or send documentation to email@example.com/ (646) 820-6039. Stay tuned for upcoming Equality for Flatbush meetings and organizing to address the increase in racist incidents in the neighborhood due to gentrification
Change the Narrative: We ask that anti-racist/anti-
gentrification Prospect Lefferts Gardens & Brooklyn Neighbors community members continue to speak up and raise their concerns about the silencing / blocking of residents of color and anti-gentrification activists on the “Prospect Lefferts Gardens & Brooklyn Neighbors” Facebook page. Please continue to post about struggles against police brutality and gentrification in Brooklyn.
Join This Is Flatbush: Flatbush/East Flatbush/Crown Heights residents who are looking for a safe space for people of color and anti-gentrification forces are welcome to join This Is Flatbush. This Is Flatbush is a campaign for Flatbush/East Flatbush/Crown Heights residents and supporters to fight the corporate re-branding of our neighborhoods. To Join: https://www.facebook.com/
To get involved in the work of Equality for Flatbush contact : firstname.lastname@example.org/ (646) 820-6039
#ThisIsFlatbush #FlatbushForever #LittleCaribbean #LittleHaiti
#BeforeItsGone #TakeItBack #BrooklynIsNotforSale
748 St Marks Ave Tenants Fightback! Sign the Petition
New Video edited by Jelani Fraser for The E4F Video Strike Force https://youtu.be/
The community demands that Eve Vasilantonakis, the landlord of 748 St. Marks Ave, replace the broken front door, fix the old and faulty elevator, properly exterminate, clean, and maintain the building, and make the necessary repairs to individual tenants’ apartments!
Tenants of 748 St Marks Avenue, which is owned by Eve Vasilantonakis of John Vasilantonakis LLC, have reported that the front door of their apartment building is old and broken which poses a security risk for the residents. Residents have also experienced mobility and safety concerns due to the elevator being old and out of repair. The building is not regularly exterminated, cleaned, or maintained and many tenants have reported water damage from leaks, broken or uneven wood and plaster surfaces, and unpainted walls in their own apartments.
The owner, Eve Vasilantonakis, should be responsible for making sure that this building is in liveable condition and is secure and accessible for tenants. That’s why we, the community, are demanding that Eve Vasilantonakis (1) replace the broken front door with a new door that is secure; (2) fix the old and faulty elevator; (3) exterminate, clean and maintain the building regularly; and (4) make the necessary repairs to tenants’ apartments. These changes will reduce security risks, giving residents more control over their home and the peace of mind they deserve!
Call 917-275-4985 to demand Eve Vasilantonakis and John Vasilantonakis LLC replace the front door, fix the elevator, and repair tenants’ apartments!
We demand to see these changes by November 30th!
Looking for more videographers and editors to volunteer on The BEFORE IT’S GONE // TAKE IT BACK (B4G) Tenant Harassment Documentation Team which is part of our #NoEvictionZone campaign.
Tenant Harassment RAMPANT & REAL! We are looking for more video and film folks to help get out the stories of courageous tenants standing up against their landlords in Brooklyn Housing Court or organizing their neighbors in their buildings. Have an idea for a project? — WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT IT!
To get involved or for more info : contact Equality for Flatbush at: email@example.com
or call/text (646) 820-6039
New Video Documenting Hazardous & Unsafe Conditions Created By Cornell Realty at 501 Lefferts Ave
Video edited by Jelani Fraser for E4F’s Video Strike Force
Tenants of 501 Lefferts Ave , which is owned by Isaac Hager of Cornell Realty Management, one of the largest developers in New York City, have reported that the front door of their apartment building is old and broken which poses a security risk for the residents. Residents of 501 Lefferts Ave have already been the victims of violence in their own building and deserve to feel safe in their home.
As the owner, Isaac Hager is responsible for making sure that this building is secure for tenants. That’s why tenants are demanding that Isaac Hager (1) replace the broken door with a new door that is secure; and (2) install a security camera and a functional intercom system.
The petition is here: https://www.
BEFORE IT’S GONE // TAKE IT BACK: Documenting Brooklyn – Fighting Gentrification (B4G) is the Brooklyn-wide anti-gentrification campaign of Equality for Flatbush www.
Equality for Flatbush calls for the ARREST of Racist Slumlord Isaac Pollack for Tenant Harassment
#ArrestIsaacPollack #NoEvictionZone #MYNYCLANDLORD #TenantsFightBack #BLACKLIVESMATTER
The Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network (BAN) is a people of color-led, mass-based coalition of tenants, homeowners, block associations, anti-police brutality groups, legal and grassroots organizations working together to end the rampant gentrification and displacement of low to middle income residents of Brooklyn, New York. BAN was initiated by Equality for Flatbush in 2015. To Get Involved Join The Brooklyn Anti-gentrification Network – BAN Community List
The Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network (BAN) in solidarity with our member organization Mi Casa No Es Su Casa opposes the current plan to rezone the neighborhood of Bushwick as endorsed by Brooklyn Community Board 4 with Council Members Antonio Reynoso and Rafael Espinal. We know all too well that the process of rezoning, the change of land use initiated under the guise of community preservation and additional affordable housing, far too often becomes a hostage situation where communities bargain for crumbs with the city or risk getting nothing. The general public should understand that rezoning is an opportunity for real estate interests to raise real estate prices and their subsequent abilities to make profits under our feet, and that no level of additional services or amenities that our neighborhoods already deserve should be used to justify this fact.
When Mayor De Blasio was first elected mayor in 2013, his answer to the city’s housing crisis was a plan that called for the construction and preservation of 200,000 affordable units across the city. The majority of this goal would be through saving units from falling out of the state’s rent stabilization program but 80,000 of that number would be newly built in fifteen communities chosen to be rezoned for increased density to accommodate that new construction. In addition, the city passed a new housing policy, known as Mandatory Inclusionary Housing, to encourage more affordable units across the city, but only mandatory after a neighborhood is rezoned. This policy was the supposed solution to counteract the a wave of market rate development coming not only to the targeted communities of the rezonings but citywide.
But what happens when affordable housing isn’t affordable enough for the community already there? During the Bloomberg administration, dozens of neighborhoods were rezoned in ways that changed the rental landscape of the city, often subsidized by programs such as the 421a tax abatement and with very few demands of developers for affordable housing and no protections for current tenants. One of the worst examples was the Williamsburg and Greenpoint waterfront rezoning, where in exchange for an upzoning that would allow 20 and 30 story towers, promises were made but not kept and new developments have led to the displacement of tens of thousands of former rent stabilized tenants and small businesses within the rezoned and adjacent areas.
Fast forward a dozen years and the failures of that process have shown up on the steps of Bushwick, which has seen some of the highest rent increases over the past 10 years and has been found to be the neighborhood most likely to have housing code violations in the city. In 2014, Brooklyn Community Board 4 with Council Members Antonio Reynoso and Rafael Espinal created a process they have called the “Bushwick Community Plan”, which now consists of a Steering Committee for mostly staff of nonprofits that stand to potentially gain through improved relationships with council members based on their support of the process and may have disproportionate power over which parts of the community are represented in these conversations and which are not. Truly, the Bushwick Community Plan has been anything but community focused, as was best exemplified by Brooklyn Department of City Planning director Winston Von Engel when he said at a February community meeting about the plan that “our intention is to preserve the character and the buildings, not the people in them.”
We as the residents of this city must recognize this Freudian slip for the truth it holds of this process. The goal of the dozens of small meetings behind closed doors has never been to address the needs of Bushwick residents for better enforcement of tenant law against landlords, seek to use land available for the creation of affordable housing or for additional municipal services – school seats, public transportation, garbage removal, etc – that many local residents have advocated for in good faith. What has actually happened is an illusion of democracy that is being calibrated to both meet the mayor’s intended quota for the neighborhood and minimize potential community backlash. The Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network demands no more rezonings as a tool to allow record real-estate profits in the name of community preservation and for the Bushwick Plan Steering Committee to end this process before irreparable harm is done to the neighborhood.
For more info contact : 646-820-6039| info@BANgentrification.org
UPCOMING BAN EVENTS
The next Brooklyn Anti-gentrification Network meeting is on 11/12 at 7p at the 2nd floor of the NYC Solidaity Center located at 147 W 24th St, New York, NY 10011. Please join us to help plan upcoming actions and for a report back on the March against White Supremacy and Gentrification in Flatbush on November 3rd.
Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text (646) 820 -6039
For details on the next planning meeting : https://bangentrification.org/events/
Current Real Estate Watch Campaigns:
- Equality for Flatbush’s Real Estate Watch creates Map of Properties Bought up by Predator Developer #OzoneDevelopment, LLC https://beforeitsgone.co/stories/Gvdr74
- Real Estate Watch releases Fact Sheet on a predatory developer, Rafael (Rafi) Manor
- Real Estate Watch releases Fact Sheet on predatory lender, Selene Finance
Selene Finance has been identified to us by homeowners in our community as a key target due to their predatory practices. Real Estate Watch, Equality for Flatbush’s investigative research team, has released a fact sheet to document the key players profiting off Selene Fianance and their fraudulent practices.
The intent of this initiative is to bring new residents together, building by building, block by block, in solidarity against the skyrocketing rents and property grabs by developers that is transforming our neighborhoods.
Contact us for information on how to get involved.