The following is syndicated from City & State. Make sure to head over to their…
For two and a half years, together we prevented (then) Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo from giving FreshDirect a single dollar of a (then) promised $127 million subsidy to move its trucking operation to a South Bronx waterfront flood zone, bringing 1,000 daily diesel truck trips through an overburdened community already plagued with asthma rates 8 times the national average. In 2013, we voted a progressive administration into office to change the tale of two cities and reverse course on decades of double standards and hazardous dumping on the South Bronx. We have patiently waited more than six months for our newly elected leaders to deliver on their campaign promises, but our community’s health can no longer afford to be a back burner issue. So today, we are asking all of you and everyone you know to call, email, tweet and facebook the Mayor and tell him to stop the FreshDirect deal. Ask him to back his campaign for change with action!
The Environmental Defense Fund stated last week that Latinos are 3x more likely to die from asthma than any other racial or ethnic group.
We must ask ourselves why, then, our Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr and other Bronx politicians aren’t demanding an environmental impact statement be done on FreshDirect’s planned move to the South Bronx — and instead are relying on an outdated environmental impact statement.
This article in the Daily News clearly shows what a tale of two cities we are. Manhattan and Riverdale residents, along with elected officials are battling LG’s plan to build a 100+ foot tower in the Palisades that will tarnish the pristine views along the Hudson. Meanwhile in the South Bronx, residents are battling against the State of New York and FreshDirect, demanding that they deserve better than a 21 year old impact statement which the company is relying on to move into the neighborhood.
Yesterday, on Thursday, March 27th, the Appellate Division of New York ruled in favor of FreshDirect and, “Bloomberg-era Industrial Development Agency decision to provide $80 million in subsidies to Fresh Direct to move its trucking operation to a South Bronx waterfront flood zone…without any requirement to assess or address the environmental impact of an additional 1,500 daily diesel truck trips on our asthma-plagued community.”
Dear Mayor De Blasio, Council Speaker Mark-Viverito, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr, New York City Council members:
The Center for Disease Control has just published a study in the April 2014 issue of the American Journal of Preventative Medicine citing a deep connection between a rise in incidents of childhood leukemia and pollution in high traffic areas — traffic pollution which already exists in the South Bronx that contributes to children having 8 times the national rate of asthma.
Can we afford FreshDirect with thousands of more truck trips barreling through our roads in the South Bronx, worsening the traffic situation? Is the empty promise of jobs worth the risk of exposure to our children — a company with dubious labor practices where they are currently being sued by their own drivers? Do we sacrifice our future over corporate greed and over $130 million in tax breaks and subsidies?
On Wednesday, March 19th, delivery workers for FreshDirect have filed a class action lawsuit against the firm over gratuities they are losing due to misleading company policies.
It is not the first time FreshDirect is under fire for its dubious labor practices and once again solidifies even more why the majority of residents do not want FreshDirect to relocate to our waterfront.
Back in 2007 FreshDirect fired scores of immigrant workers because of a pending unionization vote.
This week, Mayor De Blasio’s ambitious plan to reduce pedestrian fatalities, Vision Zero, began in the Bronx with Operation Move Along on 138th Street (between Third and Jackson Avenues) by cracking down on double parking. Officers from the 40th precinct slapped educational flyers on double parked cars but on March 16th they will begin issuing summonses for illegally parked vehicles.
The East 138th Street corridor is one of the South Bronx’s busiest roads with trucks and traffic already roaring across it to get from one end of the borough to the other.
The Mott Haven Herald has just published a very eye-opening article on just how deep lobbyists are in bed with our local politicians to make a deal with FreshDirect without community input.
Happy New Year and congratulations on your inauguration today. It was a long road but you made it.
Now comes the hard part — living up to your promise of a progressive administration and making this a city for all.
Read an excellent write up by Alice Speri of DNAinfo on the major setback FreshDirect received.
In the article she writes,
Securing the funding would require the unanimous approval of the New York Empowerment Zone Board, which provides incentives for private investors revitalizing poor communities. FreshDirect removed its application for funding from the board’s agenda after Serrano made clear Wednesday that he would vote against it.