BRONX FUTURE
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BRONX FUTURE

THE BX PLAN: Who gets to decide the future of the Bronx?

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES ON TRANSFORMING THE BRONX

Post #1 in a series on transforming the Bronx economy

How do we create a local economy and a greater society that works for us all? What will YOU do together with your community to help make it happen?

What will the Bronx look like in 30 years from now, when our movement for racial justice and economic democracy has radically transformed our lives, and the lives of our neighbors? What pursuits and joys will you have time for in your life that you do not have today because of our economic system?

In May, the Bronx-wide Coalition launched a historic, borough-wide planning process to co-design and implement a bold, long-term, economic development plan for the Bronx that is grounded in racial justice and economic democracy. To translate our shared vision and priorities from the Bronx People’s Platform for NYC into reality, we knew we needed a comprehensive and community-led approach to building an economy that supports freedom and self-determination, and prioritizes dignity and wellbeing for all.

The work of the Coalition builds on a rich legacy of community organizing and planning, and a wealth of social, economic, cultural, and other assets. Even so, Bronxites continue to face both longstanding and new challenges. The Bronx, like so many urban areas across the country, was and continues to be impacted by racist policies like redlining and other forms of discrimination and inequity. These policies and practices have undermined our community’s wellness and have created a long-lasting negative impact on our neighborhoods still felt today.

Why an economic development plan for racial justice and economic democracy?

Often, when we talk about the economy, it feels disconnected from our lives. However, our communities actively lead and participate in economic activities — running businesses, feeding our neighbors, taking care of children and elders, participating in mutual aid, and more. Despite our critical role in powering local and regional economies, places like the Bronx, women, immigrants, people of color, and other marginalized groups are often undervalued and ignored as key stakeholders who shape the economy. Additionally, our city relies on an economic development model that mainly focuses on the number of jobs and economic activity a project will create. But, are they good jobs? Will they be accessible to the people who live in that community? Will the project be harmful to our environment or displace residents?

Our planning process reminds us that we are powerful economic actors that should have the decision-making power to shape and benefit from development in our communities. This is why we are centering on racial justice and economic democracy. We want to prioritize the experiences, leadership, and voices of those most impacted and historically excluded — people of color; and we want to ensure we control our assets, and own and govern together for the benefit of all.

We can work together to make sure OUR assets work for us instead of for outsiders who exploit us and benefit off our backs. We can have good work that pays family-sustaining wages, housing without abusive landlords, clean air and energy, and good affordable food for our communities — and we can and should be the ones in control of it. This is the future that economic democracy offers us and that we want to build together.

The sectors we are shaping to transform our economy

Our process and plan prioritize seven key sectors of our economy: health, food, energy, and the environment, education and workforce, manufacturing and technology, housing and land use, and transportation and mobility. These sectors are interconnected, impact each other, and need to be considered holistically. We know that in order for us to address the root cause issues of the challenges we face, we need to come up with solutions that are systemic and cross-sectoral.

To provide more context on these sectors, how they’ve shaped the Bronx to date, and what is possible for the future, we will be releasing a post on each one. As you engage with the content, we encourage you to notice the connections you make and join us at our upcoming Bronx People’s Assemblies on June 12, June 26, and July 14 to share your ideas and solutions!

Here are other ways to engage:

  • Follow along on Medium to read all of our posts and share with your networks
  • Get involved with the Bronx-wide Coalition to build community and economic power
  • Learn more about the Bronx candidates who want to represent you and vote on June 22!

For more information on the Bronx-wide Coalition and other resources go to: https://linktr.ee/bxpower

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