NAACP New York State Conference Responds to Rezoning Application

Monday, July 9, 2007

July 9, 2007—Hazel N. Dukes, President, NAACP New York State Conference of Branches, today issued the following statement in response to the City Planning Commission's meeting regarding Columbia University's application for the rezoning of the old Manhattanville manufacturing zone in West Harlem:

"On behalf of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and NAACP branches that are located within the boundaries of this proposed project, I support Columbia University's Proposed Manhattanville in West Harlem Expansion Project. As it stands now, this area of West Harlem is going to be redeveloped. Alternative plans currently exist for its development. The local community will benefit from finding a partener that brings a commitment to jobs, expanded education opportunities, health care and an infusion of new economic development to help shape Harlem's future. Columbia University can be that partner.

"Over the past few months, Columbia University and the West Harlem Local Development Corporation have begun to craft a community benefits agreement that expands the many benefits that the local community will gain from the proposed expansion. Current projections for the proposed development say that it will create some 6,00 0 new University jobs and approximately 1,200 construction jobs a year for the next quarter century, along with enhanced education and health care, arts, cultural and civic spaces for West Harlem. I can think of no other project in this area of Harlem which will provide residents and the University the opportunity to grow together, as partners, than the proposed Manhattanville in West Harlem Campus Expansion Project."