Open City: Blogging Urban Change
Activism
Artist Feature: Kit Yan & Sometimes Home
Artist Feature: Kit Yan & Sometimes Home

In December of last year at Project REACH located on Eldridge Street, Kit Yan and poets Regie Cabico and D’Lo workshopped  2 Dicks and a Diva with an audience for two nights. I went on the second night and was impacted by the intertwining narratives of these prominent queer poets revealing what life on the [...]

The Basement Workshop Collective
The Basement Workshop Collective

This past spring, over a period of three weeks, I worked my way through the Basement Workshop Collective’s (1970-1986) archive-in-progress, currently housed at NYU’s Asian/Pacific/American (A/P/A) Institute. On a purely conceptual level, there are the romantic inclinations many of us hold about archives, the notion that as writers or researchers (or just curious people), we [...]

Q & A with Melissa del Valle Ortiz
Q & A with Melissa del Valle Ortiz

Before leaving the city for a few weeks (hiatus from the internet during my travels) I was able to get into contact with Melissa del Valle Ortiz, a reader of the Open City blog and a long-time resident of Sunset Park. She was one of the first organizers at Neighbors Helping Neighbors (a grassroots nonprofit [...]

My First Memories of Flushing
My First Memories of Flushing

Guest post by Afifa Yusufi, a community activist in the Afghan community in New York. Afifa has served on the board of Women for Afghan Women, is a member of Business Council for Peace and a number of other nonprofit organizations. She is currently serving as a board member and vice president of a Virginia-based [...]

¡Basta Ya!
¡Basta Ya!

In March 2007, Bloomberg announced Sunset Park was going to be rezoned. In March 2008, the re-zoning plan for Sunset Park was announced. ¡Basta Ya!, or Rise Up! is a 34-minute educational documentary that brings together the perspectives and insights of community members, academics, and activists about encroaching gentrification and the challenges of resisting it [...]

New Chinatown Biking Coalition: Local Spokes
New Chinatown Biking Coalition: Local Spokes

Are more bike lanes inevitably better? Where should they be, and who will they ultimately benefit most? To tackle these questions in a more inclusive way, 9 local and citywide organizations have gotten together to form Local Spokes, a new Chinatown and Lower East Side biking coalition.

One Chinatown’s Future: a Town Hall
One Chinatown’s Future: a Town Hall

Last Thursday MOCA hosted an “Open Town Hall” called “CHINATOWN 2.0—BRINGING CHINATOWN INTO THE FUTURE.”  Appropriately, I took the Chinatown bus from Sunset Park for the first time to get there, and blogged about that too.  For me it was a chance to update what I’d been reading and hearing about Chinatown since 9/11, first [...]

How Damaris Reyes Became an Organizer
How Damaris Reyes Became an Organizer

Damaris Reyes is Executive Director of GOLES (Good Old Lower East Side), a housing and preservation group that has worked in Loisada since 1977. In this video post, Damaris talks about two experiences that influenced her decision to become a community organizer.

Featured Profile: CAAAV
Featured Profile: CAAAV

CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities was formed in 1986 (formerly known as the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence) as a response to an increase in anti-Asian hate crimes both in New York City and around the country (which included violence by police officers against Asians). They have two offices – one in Manhattan’s Chinatown (which houses the [...]

About Open City
Open City: Blogging Urban Change is an interdisciplinary neighborhood blog and community project coordinated by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. Five commissioned writers, called Organizing Fellows, are working with community organizations and neighborhood folks in Manhattan’s Chinatown/Lower East Side (LES), Flushing, Queens, and Sunset Park, Brooklyn to collect oral histories and interviews, offer commentary about gentrification, neighborhood change, and produce new creative work around these themes. Read more.
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Featured Profile
CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities was formed in 1986 (formerly known as the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence) as a response to an increase in anti-Asian hate crimes both in New York City and around the country (which included violence by police officers against Asians).
They have two offices – one in Manhattan’s Chinatown (which houses the Chinatown Tenants Union, and the new Asian Youth in Action organizing project) and the Youth Leadership Project office in the Bronx – and have members from all over the city. Over the years, CAAAV’s main campaigns have focused on community-based organizing work rooted in Asian immigrant and refugee communities. Although their advocacy and organizing work is focused mainly in Manhattan’s Chinatown and the northwest Bronx, CAAAV’s work also touches upon larger issues (such as affordable housing, war, and immigration) shaping communities all over the world: “Our work is primarily centered around issues facing New Yorkers, but always with a global analysis.”
CAAAV’s mission is to organize and build the power of working-class Asian immigrants, refugees, and youth to change concrete conditions and participate in a broader social justice movement. In the past, CAAAV’s work included organizing South Asian taxi drivers, Korean women workers, and Filipina domestic workers. Several of these organizing projects have gone on to become their own organizations, such as the New York Taxi Workers Alliance and Domestic Workers United. CAAAV’s current work focus on three different program areas: Read more.

See all Featured Profiles.
Community Announcements
Manhattan CB3 Land Use, Zoning, Public & Private Housing Committee
Monday, May 2 at 6:30 pm -- Rutgers Community Center, Gymnasium - 200 Madison Street (btwn Rutgers & Pike Sts)

Brooklyn CB7, Land Use/Landmarks Committee Regular meeting
Continued discussion on potential 8th Avenue rezoning

Manhattan CB3 Economic Development Committee Tuesday, May 3 at 6:30pm -- Community Board 3 Office - 59 East 4th Street (btwn 2nd Ave & Bowery)

Read more.

See all announcements.