Friday, March 19, 2010

Youth on the Move & UYC win postponement of metrocard cuts!

Youth on the Move (YOM) and allies in the Urban Youth Collaborative held an important meeting with MTA chief Jay Walder on Wednesday to demand the MTA not cut the vital student metrocard program.

Although they were able to secure postponement of the decision until after the NYC and NY State budget process wraps up, this is yet another example of the continued impact of the economic recession on working class communities, who suffer first and worst as public services (from housing to education to healthcare and transportation) continue getting slashed.

In the coming months YOM & UYC will be taking the fight to City Hall, Albany and beyond, so stay tuned and in touch for ways to support this vital work.

Coverage highlights:

* NY Daily News - Students Will Lobby State, City for Free Metrocards from MTA
* NY1 - MTA to Postpone Vote on Student Metrocards
* Gothamist - MTA Delays Vote On Cutting Student Metrocards

Monday, March 15, 2010

Statement on DEP Decision

Mothers on the Move is excited about the recent citywide and national attention to our Clean Air Campaign, and thankful for the support of elected officials and allies alike in creating the kind of visibility that can further an equitable resolution of our lawsuit.

However, this recent exposure to the Dep't of Environmental Protection's decision not to renew NYOFCO/Synagro's contract represents only the tip of the iceberg of what has now been a three-year campaign by MOM's Environmental Justice Committee - strategized and implemented by local residents of the Hunts Point and Longwood sections of the South Bronx (people directly experiencing NYOFCO's harmful effects).

The work of the EJ Committee's leadership in getting to this stage can't be overstated - changing society takes a lot of hard work by a lot of everyday people! The campaign has included literally thousands of doors knocked, hundreds of people mobilized, countless campaign planning meetings, and creative and high profile actions such as our Toxic Bus Tour, Mock Funeral for the South Bronx, and a surprise Saturday morning visit to then-DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd by 50 local residents.

Again, MOM recognizes and appreciates the support from politicians and the city in our work around this issue, BUT, there is much more to be done. The lawsuit is not yet settled, and the larger fight is far from over. Unfortunately this recent news doesn't mean that the community's problems with NYOFCO or the underlying issues of environmental racism disappear.

MOM and the EJ Committee's leadership will continue its lawsuit regardless, and we are continuing to watch the DEP and the City (who are named in our lawsuit) to see this through.

We remain cautiously optimistic about the results, and can't wait to celebrate all the hard work that MOM members and our allies have put into achieving them. But we'll believe it when we see it.

Recent Coverage:

NY Daily News, 3/15
Commish says City's plan to end contract with Hunts Point fertilizer firm will save $18M a year.

Epoch Times, 3/15
City Terminates Contract With Bronx Sewage Plant

NY1 News, 3/14
City Drops Contract With Bronx Fertilizer Company

Gothamist Blog 3/13
Bronx Neighborhood to Lose Decades-Old Stench

New York Times, 3/12
An Olfactory Nightmare May End in the Bronx

To schedule interviews with MOM EJ Committee leaders, please contact

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Video on the fight for clean air

The video was produced by Chloe Smolarski, Melissa Nicolardi, Veralyn Williams and Marjorie Bresciani in a graduate course at Hunter College. Many thanks are due to these women for their wonderful work. Here is their description of the project:

We first became aware of the environmental justice movement in Hunts Point in the spring of 2008, as residents and activist were embroiled in a struggle against the renewal of NYOFCO's poisonous contract. Through the organizations Sustainable South Bronx, The Point, and Mothers on the Move we were introduced to the five incredible women - Majora Carter, Marie Davis, Tanya Fields, Cerita Parker and Kelly Terry- Sepulveda- whose inspiring efforts to organize their community and fight against NYOFCO are the center of this story. Thanks to the efforts of these women the City of New York will not renew NYOFCO's contract, and hopes to terminate the agreement as early as June of this year, well before it's 2013 expiration date. Score one for Hunts Point!