Pratt Center worked with the Bronx Coalition for a Community Vision (“the Coalition”) starting in 2015 as they developed and advocated for their vision of a just rezoning. Led by Community Action for Safe Apartments of New Settlement Apartments (CASA), the Coalition includes faith-based organizations, tenant organizing groups, local union members, and auto merchants.
In the fall of 2014, Mayor de Blasio announced the City’s intention to rezone a 73-block corridor along Jerome Avenue in the Bronx from 167th Street to 184th Street. As a major corridor that connects the densely populated, working class residential neighborhoods surrounding the elevated 4 train, the majority of the area was previously zoned for manufacturing and heavy commercial uses. The Coalition formed to advance a community vision based in local lived experienes and to propose solutions to community stakeholders’ concerns about displacement of both people and jobs in the face of transformations connected to rezoning plans and actions.
With support from Pratt Center, the Coalition steering committee held a series of visioning sessions, culminating in the October 2015 release of the Coalition's Policy Platform, which articulated steps that should be taken in order to ensure the realization of the Coalition’s vision as well as identifies a variety of implementation mechanisms.
As the Coalition advocated for strategies that would treat the existing workers and business in the neighborhood fairly, Pratt Center supported this effort with research and analysis rooted in our knowledge of industrial preservation, land use planning and policy, as well as local retail planning and revitalization. In particular, this work has led to the publication of Under the Hood: A Look into New York City’s Auto Repair Industry and Out of Gas: How the City Can Do Better for Jerome Avenue’s Auto Workers.
After the rezoning was completed in 2018, many of the commitments won by the community gave birth to follow-up actions, such as the Jerome Avenue Workforce Partnership, and ongoing collaboration between local organizations to develop goals and strategies to address workforce gaps using a partnership-based approach, an effort which has also built upon Pratt Center research and expertise.