Sunday, September 13, 2009

Why Inez Dickens Must Go! - by Julius Tajiddin

I don't hate her. And I take nothing personal. Truth is, it was Inez who told me to start getting involved in community board meetings, for it was there that I would be informed on what goes on in Harlem with the land. Cause really that's what everything is all about in New York City. Land. So I thank her for that. Harlem should thank her for that. Because involved Julius got. And that has been a good thing for Harlem.

But my love for God, Family, Country and Community is greater. And so it is that there are times that the student challenges the teacher. It was King Saul who sent a young David to go before Goliath. Yet was it not a grown David who became Saul's enemy?

Malcolm challenged his teacher. Although Malcolm also tried to reconcile with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. But there were too many forces that kept that from happening. One of them was not the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. But every situation is not the same.

In the Julius and Inez case I really tried to extend a hand of friendship and support. To no avail. The more I fought for my community the more distance grew between us. My last effort got me escorted out of the Martin Luther King Jr. Democratic Club Fund Raiser held over the summer. No sooner than when I got in line to eat (I paid too), I got rudely escorted out until I told my escort that he better be careful. I haven't quite attained the status of Jesus.

Some people may find that funny and say that she had the right because it was a private affair. But yet they were selling tickets at the front door to the public, in a NYCHA property no less.

Then there is the club's name sake. To me it represents a certain kind of thinking that shouldn't be rewarded by letting its thinker represent a diverse community in city government. And that doesn't necessarily mean physical diversity.

For those of you who may not see the relationship, she's a key member of that Club. Some of you may ask why has the Inez and Julius relationship gone sour? Well when I said "involved I got" I mean "involved I got."

To make things short, a lot of stuff goes on down at the Department of City Planning/City Planning Commission pertaining to property issues. It's like Wall Street down there. Everybody is hustling some property in some kind of way. But it is city property that is the big hustle. It's mainly city property being given away or rezoning real property. If one gets rezoned to build bigger then obviously his/her property is worth more.

I've been going down there tracking what's been going on for about 4 or 5 years now. I have learned quite a bit. I even served on Community Board 10's Land Use Committee. Although Inez used her influence to have me removed. And why is that? Well that's what she and some others don't want you to know.

But the facts don't lie when it comes to Inez' record.

Fact - Inez pushed for the rezoning of 125th Street (known as the 125th Street Special District) to allow a residency increase of 750% in that district. The type of housing that can be developed under this new zoning is high rise luxury condominiums. In fact the mechanism in the new zoning allows as much as 80% of such housing to be fair market. Most of the other 20% is structured to allow for housing accomodating families of four earning 58K to 150K.

Fact - The upzoning of commercial retail space in the Special District was only increased by 30%.

Fact - Inez supported the development of low-income housing to be built nearby a garbage depot, directly across from the Metro El Train, the FDR Highway and some other low income housing development as part of a deal she worked out with the Bloomberg Administration in exchange for supporting the 125th Street rezoning.

Fact - Inez supported the Columbia University Expansion Plan in Manhanttanville, which wanted its property that it bought through unscrupulous means to be upzoned, in addition to wanting city controlled property, mainly underground and in the water. With this approved plan Columbia has sought through the State of New York eminent domain on properties refusing to sell and the building of underground Level 3 bio tech laboratories.

Fact - Inez has gone against the advice of one of her community boards several times and supported the giving away of city property to developers who refused to give community benefits packages in exchange for such city property.

Fact - Community Board 10 strongly advised that any low income housing coming out of the 125th Street Rezoning be a part of an inclusionary housing plan, income targeted and developed on site.

Fact - Inez Dickens did not support the development of low income housing to be on site but rather "across the tracks."

Fact - Community Board 10 strongly disapproved of the 125th Street Rezoning. Inez Dickens chose not to support her contituents.

Fact - Inez Dickens supported the extention of term limits to allow Mayor Bloomberg to run for a third term, going against the will of the people, demonstrated by two referrendums saying no to more than two terms.

These are strong accusations but they can be proven. The record is there and there is nothing inflated about what I said.

I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt but it is hard to ignore the facts. Either Inez doesn't have what it takes to fight for what we need, which is to be empowered - not placated with a couple of sprinkles of charity - or Inez has intentionally sold us out. I would hope it is the former.
But the time has come for her to step down. However, that may not come willingly. So it is up to us who can vote in the 9th District. VOTE HER OUT OF OFFICE BY VOTING FOR SOMEONE ELSE. My pick is Carlton "Chuck" Berkley. And tell ten of your friends.

But do blame yourselves if you experience a "Skip Gates Moment" down the road and you did not do what you could to make this change in city hall happen. City Hall needs an overhaul.
To Inez I say, you cannot serve two masters at the same time.

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