Our S.P.O.T. Campaign
Our S.P.O.T. (Safe Place to Organize Together) Campaign
"On the pier we hope to one day have an LGBTQ center so they know they can continue to have a safe space where they can be themselves and get the services they need to help them." Chey R.
LGBTQ youth of color are ushered out of our homes, schools, and safe spaces every day as access to vital resources and opportunities decrease. We have learned from the redevelopment of the Christopher Street pier that LGBTQ youth need to be part of development decisions that impact our community and the West Village.
FIERCE has been opposing the private development of Pier 40 (the pier directly south of the Christopher Street pier) that would inevitably further displace LGBTQ youth of color from the West Village. Related Company proposed a development plan for Pier 40 that would turn the pier into a mega-entertainment complex equal to that of a Vegas hotel and casino -- clearly a proposal that doesn't put the needs of the community first. We have been clear about our opposition to upscale private development and we have been visionary about pushing for necessary alternatives that challenge the current profit-driven logic of development in our city. We believe development should put the needs of the community before profit.
What we want is simple: development can and should fill the needs of people, not the bank accounts of corporations. Through consistent attendance at Community Board 2 meetings and building relationships with LGBTQ organizations and West Village residents, FIERCE has been able to achieve significant accomplishments around Pier 40 redevelopment:
- June 2007: Campaign demands calling for LGBTQ youth services and a drop-in center to be included in the development of Pier 40 were supported by the Pier 40 Working Group recommendation, as well as by a Community Board 2 Waterfront Committee resolution.
- January 2008: Developed a plan for a 24-hour LGBTQ youth center on Pier 40, along with our allies at the HERE.sal
- March 2008: Successfully defeated Related's proposal for a privately developed mega-entertainment complex dubbed "Vegas on the Hudson."
- March 2009: Released policy recommendations with the Urban Justice Center to keep the piers a safe space for the surrounding community, while also increasing the voice and power of the community in decision-making processes. Our White Paper: Expanding Access to Public Space at the Hudson River Park provides guiding principles for making changes to the Hudson River Park Act.
- October 2009: Appointed to the NYC Commission for LGBTQ Runaway and Homeless Youth
- November 2009:Pledge by Community Board 2 to encourage elected officials to support FIERCE's work
- December 2009: Appointed to the HRPT Advisory Council
While these are important victories for us, we still need to fight for what we want to see on the pier. Here's how you can help:
ELECTED OFFICIALS can endorse the campaign by publicly supporting the campaign and its demands through public statements and press releases to your contacts and constituents. Elected officials can also email our Lead Organizer to be added to our list of endorsers.
7 Ways to Exercise Support for Our S.P.O.T.!
- Help us find a perfect location by doing some canvassing on the streets of the West Village.
- Reach out to other allies in your networks and get them to sign on as an endorser.
- Reach out to your local and state-wide electeds and colleagues and ask them to become an Our S.P.O.T. endorser.
- Attend events and actions with FIERCE to bring awareness to our campaign.
- Write letters of support to Community Boards, community groups, tenant associations, neighborhood block associations and elected officials, urging them to become endorsers of Our S.P.O.T.
- Write letters to the editor and op-eds to media outlets about the urgent need of a 24-hour LGBTQ youth center in the West Village.
- Participate in accountability meetings, led by FIERCE members.
Imagine a development process that is led by community input from LGBTQ youth of color! It's happening, and FIERCE stands at the front lines of this unique struggle to push for a legitimate right to safe space regardless of identity or income. We believe services are far more effective when centered on the values of building our own political power, cultivating true community building, and are available in spaces where people feel safe to access them.
“FIERCE Members and other LGBTQ youth are here today to make sure that our voices and our needs are heard by New York City and all the members of this Commission,” stated Beau, FIERCE Member. “If there’s anyone who knows the issues we’re going through and how best to address them, it’s us.”