The neighborhoods surrounding East Harlem are some of the most diverse in the city, and you live in one of the city’s last holdouts for gentrification. You celebrate the unity of your community with block parties and festivals, and you value knowing your neighbors. But despite this, the community suffers from lack of job opportunities and inadequate housing for working class families. You feel the neighborhood you built is evolving without you. What are the greatest issues surrounding District 8?
Issue #1: Re-zoning and Gentrification
Neighborhood leaders are working hard to resist re-zoning East Harlem, which would allow skyscrapers to build along Park Avenue and quickly displace nearby residents with exorbitant rents. Plenty of empty lots stand abandoned that could be converted into affordable housing. But with a young, middle class population moving into the community, gentrification is slowly creeping in and a solution to accommodate all is needed immediately.
Issue #2: Transportation Affordability
MTA’s fares seem to rise more quickly than one can blink, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for New Yorkers to afford their commutes to work. Just one branch of the community’s high poverty rate, taxpayers shouldn’t have to be worried about being priced out of basic services.
Issue #3: Lack of Educational Opportunities
With one of the highest populations of young people in the borough, El Barrio is faced with the difficult task of providing quality and equal educational opportunities to all children. One major problem is the growing influx of charter schools, which overwhelmingly cater to corporate interests, not scholastic.