09 Feb Join The Campaign!
What is Devotion NYC?
We’re excited to be partnering with a brand new community organization, Devotion NYC this year!
They believe that our communities are economically underdeveloped largely because big companies and government institutions haven’t served our communities the way they’ve served others.
Companies operating within our neighborhoods absorb lots of our consumer dollars, but refuse to work with our small businesses (as contractors and vendors).
Our politicians and government agencies happily accept our tax dollars and support, then deny our organizations and small businesses grants, contracts and other opportunities.
This neglect discourages business development and job creation, while fueling poverty and all the social ills that accompany it.
To address these issues, Devotion NYC educates and advocates. They host FREE educational workshops designed to build business and job skills. They advocate by holding politicians and big companies accountable for reinvestment in our communities.
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One of the big companies that’s benefited from tons of community support, but hasn’t yet reciprocated in the form of reinvestment is Forest City Ratner Companies (F.C.R.C.). Brooklynites know them as the developers of the much contested Atlantic Yards Project, home of the The Barclays Center, retail space and new housing developments.
F.C.R.C. didn’t initially have the community backing needed to begin construction on the Atlantic Yards Project. They asked community organizations, small businesses, and the public for their support. We answered their request. Brooklyn rallied for F.C.R.C. and the Atlantic Yards Project. Our support came in the form of public meetings, protests, calls to politicians, and $1.5 billion in tax revenues. Brooklyn fought on behalf of F.C.R.C. and won.
In exchange for our support, F.C.R.C. agreed to work to create an agreement that would guarantee that the company reinvest in Brooklyn for as long as the project stands. This contract between F.C.R.C. and the community is called The Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement. In June of 2005 it was signed by F.C.R.C. executives and politicians in a public ceremony. The contract promises: jobs, affordable housing opportunities, contracting and vending opportunities, retail space for our businesses and more. These resources and opportunities were specifically designated for “women and minority owned businesses”, and “low and moderate income individuals”. These resources and opportunities are for us, and they’ve yet to be delivered.
Devotion NYC will be advocating on behalf of our businesses and community members. Help them help us! Join the campaign today. Follow their new Twitter account @Devotion_NYC_ for more information and next steps!
The campaign in the news: