FUREE’s *FULL* October Monthly Newsletter!

CHECK OUR WEBSITE EVENTS PAGE & SOCIAL MEDIA FOR ALL SORTS OF EXTRA INFO, ANNOUNCEMENTS & HOW TO GET INVOLVED!

FUREE Friends, Allies and Supporters!

    Hopefully last night’s newsletter sneak peek got you all thirsty for more! Never ones to leave you hanging, we’ve loaded this month with a whole lot of exciting updates and information, as well as a little nostalgic reminiscing on highlights of our work over the last few months! Are you ready to jump in?! Well too late to turn back now, so we hope you enjoy!

 – Tia S.

PH_Rally_9.21_(10).JPG   PH_Rally_9.21_(84).JPG   PH_Rally_9.21_(39).JPG
FUREE’s 2017 Renter Week of Actions & Assemblies- NYC ‘Protect Public Housing’ Rally (Photos courtesy of David Branigan and Tom Knight)

FUREE’S OPEN LETTER

“That is what we are now. The circumstances have been reduced; for those us who still have circumstances… The future is in your hands… But there was nothing in them. They were empty. It was our hands that were supposed to be full, of the future; which could be held but not seen.”

– Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

     The weather may still be unsure of its own mind, but I’ve singularly decided that fall has arrived and the summer is officially relegated to the past. The trees have graciously ceased to withhold their vibrant reds, oranges and yellows while the birds who need to have abandoned ship for more productive climates. The TV networks are rolling out another seasonal line-up of shows in anticipation of the spike in home-bodied couch buddies, who wait out the colder months curled up in warmth and cradling a hope that spring will magically skip a few weeks to arrive early.

     Fall is the fairer counterpart to the dark unforgiving winter, so as festivals abound there’s a last ditch unspoken scramble to soak up the outdoors in a burst of remnant summer energy. Yet for some of us the signals that alert to fall’s seamless arrival mostly hold irrelevance as the reality of circumstance and the uncertainty of future makes the tracking of seasons almost pointless, unless it directly pertains to immediate survival. Some seasonal shifts both environmental and social are not born of nature but by the tinkering of man, and more often than not those shifts bring with them the added struggle to top off an already mounting pile of adversity.

     If you’re homeless in a city that realistically could but cruelly won’t provide adequate and stable housing for all of its residents, what pragmatic need do you have for the marveling at colorful leaves? Could you build a solid home from them? If you’re being threatened with displacement or forced eviction, that last burst of lingering summer energy will probably be expended putting one apprehensive foot in front of another desperate foot.

     If you’ve been shaken and ravaged by a rapid fire succession of nature’s righteous tantrums and humanity’s arrogant disregard for the sacred home we all inhabit, how can you watch the migration of birds free to find solace in more forgiving places and not have it remind you of being trapped in the place you’ve settled roots in to call home and community? While people safely anchored with hoarded resources miles away deny you basic empathy in their withholding of supportive help, what trauma is brought by the effort and failure to convince them of your humanity and all that comes with that recognition? They can’t truly believe in humane love and support as a privilege to be controlled, doled out to a small select few and withheld from the rest who need it more urgently? How does anyone really recover from a dawning realization that in their most dire moment of need, all the things they need may never actually come?

Those festive fall spirits we clamor to maintain are overshadowed by the crushing prevalence of sexual violence and oppression brought to the public spotlight ever so often, and more recently by the courageous sharing of #METOO stories.  For a few it has been more liberating than stifling, for a few it has rehashed masked but not so deeply buried pain, but for all of us it has reminded the collective conscious just how little regard, respect or protection exists and is afforded to the most vulnerable and dominated among us.

Yes… fall is a lot of things to a lot of people, part magical transformation, part foreshadowing of a less welcomed and outrageously snowy season on its heels, part opportunity to rest our rebellious summer spirits then bunker down for serious life planning and future-shaping. But this particular fall is loaded at least for me, with the knowledge that our world is dangerously off kilter and is tipped ever closer to the brink we’ve all tried to keep at bay.

Where do you think we’ll land when it finally topples over?

     These open letters I’ve been inspired to write and sporadically including in FUREE’s monthly newsletters have usually been woven with threads of inspiration, personal reflections and a vaguely constructed vision of the world I’d like to see realized. This month though, I wanted to stand in the truth as it exists in the moment for me rather than force my pen towards things I can’t be certain I actually feel  right now.  So I’ll end it here with a few questions that I’m hoping we’re all asking ourselves and each other, and I’m opening a sincere invitation to those who are inclined to enter a public or private discourse in response.

When we can’t collectively hold it up any longer what lies in wait beyond the cliff our world as we know it currently stand on?
…A
nd what role will each of us plan in manifesting a new reality we can be proud of?

      How will we all make way for the space-less to command space and the discarded to stand bright and tall in their inherent value? And what vision of the world do you see, that allows us to embrace honor in being a part of it, rather than feeling compelled to distance and separate ourselves from the madness around us?

Who will each of us be on the other side, and can the destination we reach be glorious and beautiful for everyone who seeks it, for those who may not even know it exists, and even for everyone who’s invested in never reaching?

-Shatia Strother, FUREE Program Coordinator


FUREE’s OCTOBER 2017 – DECEMBER 2017 SCHEDULE
(Our website’s events page has all the details and how to RSVP!)

FUREE OCTOBER GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26TH 6:30PM – 8:30PM
FIFTH AVENUE COMMITTEE, 621 DEGRAW STREET, BROOKLYN, NY 11217
Topics for discussion will include upcoming FUREE Steering Committee elections and process review, campaign brainstorming and strategic planning, new member orientation, organizational and leadership development updates and plans.

Contact for for more details or to RSVP:
Tia- shatia@furee.org (646) 678-2546
Mike- michael@furee.org (917) 704-6994

 


FUREEous YOUTH PERFORMANCE AT PURPLE POWER!
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS FUNDRAISING EVENT
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29TH 2:00 PM – 6:00PM
BRIGHT POINT HEALTH, 803 STERLING PLACE, BROOKLYN, NY 11216
The Heather Hurley Foundation & Soul Radiance Promotions in conjunction with NYS Senator Kevin Parker’s Office present the 6th Annual Purple Power Domestic Violence Awareness Fundraiser benefiting BLOOM365, Anti-Teen Dating Violence Movement in NYC schools. Purchase tickets on Eventbrite starting at $25 for general admission.


GET READY FOR…
FUREE’S 2017 HOLIDAY FUNDRAISING DRIVE!
NOVEMBER 13TH, 2017 – JANUARY 4TH, 2018
It’s the time, of the season… when giving runs high… In this time, give it to us easy… and let us try to soldier on!
FUREE will be running its annual holiday giving fundraiser drive in less than a month!

So stay tuned for information on how you can contribute towards ensuring we keep our work going for another year and well into the future!



FUREE + TURNING THE TIDE THANKSGIVING CELEBRATION
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15TH 5:00PM – 8:00PM
GOWANUS HOUSES COMMUNITY CENTER, 620 BALTIC STREET, BROOKLYN, NY 11217
Join FUREE and Fifth Avenue Committee for a community potluck as we celebrate the holiday season and our work towards advancing housing and environmental justice as well as enjoy each other’s company.

Please RSVP to Karen Blondel at kblondel@fifthave.org or (718) 237 – 2017 x171

 


FUREEous YOUTH PERFORMANCE AT WYCKOFF GARDENS ANTI-VIOLENCE COMMUNITY POTLUCK DINNER
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17TH 6:00PM – 8:00PM
WYCKOFF GARDENS COMMUNITY CENTER, 280 WYCKOFF STREET, BROOKLYN, NY 11217
Support FUREEous Youth will be performing at this community dinner for greater peace after recent violence at Gowanus Houses.

Contact for for more details or to RSVP: Mo Beasley- mo@furee.org (646) 322-7121

 

 

DECEMBER FUREE GENERAL MEETING
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 13TH 6:30PM – 8:30PM
FIFTH AVENUE COMMITTEE, 621 DEGRAW STREET, BROOKLYN, NY 11217
Join FUREE for the last meeting of the year as we host Steering Committee elections & review the plans from our annual retreat for the upcoming 2018 Year!

Contact for for more details or to RSVP:
Tia- shatia@furee.org (646) 678-2546
Mike- michael@furee.org (917) 704-6994

 



                                
FUREE’s 2017 Renter Week of Actions & Assemblies- NYC ‘Protect Public Housing’ Rally
(Photos courtesy of David Branigan, Tom Knight, FUREE staff and Policy Link)

2017 RENTER WEEK OF ACTIONS & ASSEMBLIES!

(SEE ALL OF THE AMAZING PHOTOS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY DURING THIS YEAR’S NATIONAL RWA HERE)

     Renters across the country are rising up. From organizing tenant unions, to winning rent control and community land trusts, renters are standing up to predatory development to build communities that actually function for working people. We know that the only way to gain access to safe, quality and affordable homes for all is to demand that decisions made about our communities are made BY our communities, not wealthy investors.

We are rising up to work for the public good, for healthy homes and schools for our children, and parks for them to play in. We are transforming our communities into places where we can all thrive — not just survive! We are fighting so that low-income communities, communities of color, immigrants and formerly incarcerated people are invested in, not pushed OUT by development that only benefits the wealthy. It’s up to us to organize millions of renters to fight back for our homes, for our dignity and for our futures.


Now is the time for bold action to shut down business as usual and demand urgent action to solve the housing crisis!  

Now is the time for mass education communities around a vision of world free from displacement where housing and communities are developed for people, not profit. RISE UP FOR RENTER POWER!

 

… So began the rallying cry to summon the power of the ‘Renter Nation’ for this year’s national Renter Week of Actions & Assemblies led by member groups and organizations of Right to the City/Homes for All Alliance all across the country!

Here in NYC FUREE led the charge with other partners and allies to show our unity, strength and force with two actions during the RWA: The ‘Protect Public Housing’ Rally on Sept. 21st and the city-wide Renters Assembly on Sept. 23rd! Labor unions and housing groups such as Picture the Homeless, DC37, CAAAV, Tenants & Neighbors, Fifth Avenue Committee, NYCC, CVH, and others came together to rally in front of NYCHA headquarters at 250 Broadway in NY against the privatization of public housing and the loss of jobs as well as demand adequate and full permanent funding for NYCHA/HUD!

Check out press & more from the 2017 RWA NYC here:

Alternet: Tenants Nationwide Tell Landlords They’re Fed Up: Renter Week of Action
A week’s worth of rallies, protests and demonstrations aims to unite renters and draw attention to their struggles.
https://www.alternet.org

In These Times: Renters Rise Up for National Day of Action
Events are taking place across the country to raise awareness about America’s affordable housing crisis.
http://inthesetimes.com

TruthOut: Tenants Push Back Against Corporate Landlords During “Renter Week of Action”
Shatia Strother, program coordinator with Families United for Racial and Economic Equality, worked to coordinate a march to the office of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) this week to call for full funding for HUD and push back against programs opening up public housing to privatization.
http://www.truth-out.org

#RenterWeekofAction Addresses Nationwide Housing Crisis
Renters across the country are staging a week of protests to challenge rent increases, evictions and cuts to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
http://www.colorlines.com

Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice (GNCJ)

We call it a win! On October 18th at the District 33 town hall, Mayor De Blasio announced that the city will fund the reopening of the Gowanus Houses Community Center and the placement of a Cornerstone Youth Program to handle programming once the center is up and running. This marks a key victory in a now 3-year old campaign for open the space once more for community use after its pivotal role as a hub for services and supplies in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy when several buildings within Gowanus Houses lost power because of the storm.  Through Participatory Budgeting and other discretionary allocations from Councilmember Stephen Levin, there exists $475,000 for physical improvements to the center that can be used immediately to make sure it is structurally sound. We still need your help to put pressure on the mayor to keep his promise! Please sign the following petition to permanently reopen the Gowanus Houses Community Center by visiting the link below:  https://www.change.org/p/bill-de-blasio-re-open-the-gowanus-houses-community-center

 

Turning the Tide (T3)

T3, a multi-organizational collaborative towards environmental justice in Gowanus and Red Hook, is entering its third year of organizing! In Gowanus, the remediation process of the EPA Superfund of the local canal is finally getting underway, which will involve the removal of toxins currently under Thomas Greene Park and Double D pool. It will also involve the siting of a 8-million gallon retention tank to assist in treatment of greywater that often is released into the canal untreated in cases of flooding. As per an agreement advocated by Turning the Tide and other community members in April 2016, the CSO retention tank will be placed adjacent to the canal rather than on the current site of the Double D pool, enabling the replacement of the pool facilities at the conclusion of the cleanup and possibilities for a bigger and better park. On November 16th, the office of Representative Nydia Velázquez will be hosting an information session on the progress of the Superfund at the Old American Can Factory, 232 3rd Street from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. Please RSVP to the office of the Representative at daniel.wiley@mail.house.gov or (718) 222-5819.


FUREEOUS YOUTH represented FUREE at AFROPUNK, registering voters and leading outreach efforts for The Renters Week of Actions & Assemblies during the weekend of August 26-27! Then they showed off their artistic skills during FUREE’s RWA prep sessions, and gifted the PH rally crowds with powerful dance performances!

       

FY Artists will be performing for the 6th Annual Purple Power! Domestic Violence Awareness Fundraiser on Sunday October 29, 2 -6 pm at 803 Sterling Place in Brooklyn. For more info and to purchase tickets, please visit the  Eventbrite page at:  www.eventbrite.com/e/6th-annual-purple-power-domestic-violence-awareness-fundraiser

FY Artists will be performing for the Anti-Violence Community Potluck Dinner organized in response to recent violence at nearby Gowanus Houses on Friday November 17, 6 to 8 pm at Wyckoff Gardens Community Center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


YEARS AFTER SANDY: We Remember, We Resist, We Rise – Commemoration and March
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28TH 11:00AM – 3:00PM
CADMAN PLAZA PARK, BROOKLYN, NY 11201

On the 5th anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, New Yorkers will march together to remember the lives lost and the damage incurred from Sandy.  Join us in Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn (North Plaza), where we will assemble and march over the Brooklyn Bridge, and then rally at the Smith Houses, which were heavily affected by Sandy.

 

THE MANY DISGUISES OF PRIVATIZATION: Discussion on the Future of NYCHA
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28TH 11:00AM – 4:00PM
CUNY SCHOOL OF LAW, 2 COURT SQUARE, LONG ISLAND CITY, NY 11001

Please join us for a citywide convening to discuss the details of programs such as NextGen and RAD and hear from resident leaders in campuses impacted by these policies. RSVP online to Elena Lunyova at elunyova@commoncause.org with any questions or to arrange MetroCards, a van pick-up for NYCHA residents or interpretation.

 

NOVEMBER GOWANUS NEIGHBORHOOD COALITION FOR JUSTICE (GNCJ) MEETING
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9TH 4:00PM – 6:00PM
FIFTH AVENUE COMMITTEE, 621 DEGRAW STREET, BROOKLYN, NY 11217
 Join the coalition for updates from the most recent Department of City Planning community meeting on schools and transportation as well as the campaign to reopen Gowanus Houses Community Center.Please RSVP to Emmitt Mendoza-Gaspar at emendoza@fifthave.org or (718) 237 – 2017 x112.

 

COMMUNITY ORGANIZING FOR CULTURAL CHANGE (featuring Gowanus Environmental Justice Tour by FUREE)
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19TH 9:30AM – 6:00PM
540 PRESIDENT STREET, BROOKLYN, NY 11215

Join fellow organizers, artists, media makers, and policy makers to learn effective ways to deepen your work and engage your creativity in organizing for community change. Cultural Organizing for Community Change is co-sponsored by NOCD-NY with Arts & Democracy. Sliding scale fee: $25, $50, $100. Lunch is available for purchase during registration. For more info, email: workshop@artsanddemocracy.org

 


HARVEST WITHOUT VIOLENCE: MARCH TO END SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN WENDY’S SUPPLY CHAIN!
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 20TH 5:30PM – UNTIL
FROM WENDY’S (714 3RD Ave., NY) TO OFFICES OF BOARD CHAIRMAN NELSON PELTZ


The Coalition of Immokalee Workers will visit NYC to launch a brand-new initiative in the Wendy’s Boycott: Harvest Without Violence! With more than 80% of farmworker women experiencing sexual violence in the fields, HWV will employ a national educational campaign, calls to action, and mobile museum to draw attention to the Fair Food Program’s effective and internationally recognized prevention of violence against women!
To learn more contact: Patricia (patricia@allianceforfairfood.org)            CIW’s work: www.ciw-online.org     

 

2017 PATHMAKERS TO PEACE RECEPTION & GALA DINNER
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30TH        6:00PM – 9:30PM
PLYMOUTH CHURCH, 57 ORANGE STREET, BROOKLYN, NY 11201
PathMakers to Peace honors individuals and organizations which have played a leadership role in forging new pathways in the movement for peace and justice. This year, we are pleased to honor Linda Sarsour, Leslie Cagan and UPROSE. All proceeds benefit the peace and justice work of Brooklyn For Peace (BFP).
A portion of ticket price is tax-deductible. Individual tickets start at $150.

 

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