Jason dancing, Eric Sawyer and Michael Kink and countless friends at the VOCAL Gala! Congrats for twenty amazing years VOCAL!
JK and BS
Some days it feels like the whole world opens,
Saying hi to the Community Gardeners and VOCAL, and the people who’ve been there.
Riding to and from, over the bridge,
my whole life passes,
making it through the hours of the day.
Thursday was one of those days.
Not enough sleep before
breakfast with the kids.
By 9:30, I was off to the garden press conference.
Biking over the first for the first of four trips.
Literally, twenty years of garden battles later.
And here we were standing imploring the city not to lock us out of our precious green spaces.
Don’t lock us out, screams Aziz and the gardeners fighting the encroachment of the city,
Of housing, of malling our commons.
Make sure gardens are independently operated.
We demand a fair lease.
“We have tried to work with the
City to modify the garden license. The City has answered us with threats.
Gardeners have been warned that
they must sign this unacceptable license or they will be locked out of their
own community gardens.
These are gardens were created out of
abandoned lots by volunteers. People who cultivated green spaces for children
to grow, life to flourish. For forty years community gardeners have worked to
make the City healthier, cleaner, greener.
Now the City wants to impose new
regulations, and obligations. The new license fundamentally changes the role
from GreenThumb from a garden-friendly partner into an enforcement agency.
The new regulations can be arbitrarily
enforced at the whim of Parks Department. The next mayor can use these rules to destroy the
gardens and turn them over to developers.
GreenThumb has given garden groups a deadline of September
20 to sign this agreement.
We continue to urge gardeners not to
sign this agreement, We must stand together.
Please join us on Thursday, September
19 at 10 am. Wear your flowers in your hair! Vegetables welcome!
WE LOVE OUR COMMUNITY GARDENS WE MUST
We don’t have to tell you how all these issues are connected,
The gardens and the climate.
The gardens are the future of the city, reminding everyone about the Climate Strike the next day,
The action for East River Park on Saturday.
Gardens are our power.
Its like an absentee father showing up and asking to be back into your life after forty years,
You might say, we have to have a conversation.
And then they say there is no conversation.
That is what HPD is doing.
It's mean and controlling.
They abandoned us.
We cleaned the land.
Planted in the dirt.
And now they want it back.
They want control.
They want to bulldoze.
Peter and Wendy and Ray and Susan countless garden heroes.
Have a good day at school Peter says as I jump back in my bike to ride back over the Brooklyn Bridge to school.
Observations, brown bag meeting with the union,
“After lunch, stop by the Library ground floor to screenprint,” writes Nora.
“We’ll be making posters with NYPIRG for the Climate Strike.”
curriculum, a four pm class.
And another six thirty meeting in the city.
The union work is never done.
One big union.
Solidarity is elusive.
But we’re still striving for it.
Fighting austerity, beating back poverty wages.
Organizing our workplace.
Meeting dragging on,
I sneak out to
the VOCAL fundraiser with the best organizers of my life.
“Join VOCAL-NY in celebrating
20 years of victories!
There's so much to
celebrate from 2019 alone! With our partners, we passed laws to abolish cash
bail for most misdemeanors and all nonviolent felonies, reform discovery laws,
protect tenants, and strike down Medicaid barriers for New Yorkers seeking
medication-assisted treatment. VOCAL-NY joined the Decrim NY Coalition to
protect sex workers in NY, and our upstate work flourished, strengthening all
our chapters in Albany, Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester, and Westchester! Our
services team keeps expanding--we launched a writing group and released our
first zine, trained nearly 1000 New Yorkers on how to reverse an opioid
overdose, and distributed over 110,000 sterile syringes to communities in need
Hi Eric and Michael and Dahlia and Fred and Elizabeth and Nan and Jason and Reginald.
And Ms Mary the Harm Reduction Case Manager and Camron.
All the Harm Reductionists.
Trying to make connections between the planet and our lives.
It seemed like my whole life was there.
Thinking about Michael Carden and the others lost,
Jennifer still organizing with us.
The spaces disappearing.
There are always going to be magic places.
We don’t always see them but they are there as we pass the hours of a day.
Down Hoyt Street, I ride after the fundraiser.
Greg is still up, chatting away about Atlantic City and CUNY.
Talking with him toward midnight, it felt like my whole life right had passed by right from there, everything.
Twenty one years ago, I was arrested with
He writes about what happens to us during those hours of our lives, the people we meet, or get to know.
“A few jump out windows, or drown themselves, or take pills; more die by accident; and most of us are slowly devoured by some disease, or, if we're very fortunate, by time itself. There is just this for consolation: an hour here or there...."
The hours passing,
I can’t even finish this blog before I am heading out to the streets for the climate strike.
Ms Mary and Camron,
the original harm reduction case manager.