The problems with
The most basic problem with Columbia’s plan, however, is its wanton disregard for the basic principle of local democracy, something that the university’s humanistic ideals should hold as sacrosanct. Community Board 9 undertook a democratic, transparent process of many years to create a framework for development that took into considerations the needs of its residents. This plan conflicts directly with the expansion plan, which the university has stubbornly refused to revise. Despite the nearly unanimous rejection of the plan by the Community Board this August, the university is using its political muscle to push the plan through the approval process. The university’s basic principles should not be sacrificed on the altar of profit. We believe that
As informed and active members of this institution, we refuse to allow the current expansion plan to go forward in our name. We stand in solidarity with the 10 demands made by the Community Board in August and therefore demand that:
2. After withdrawing its proposal from the review process,
3. After making the relevant changes to its rezoning plan, Columbia negotiate a substantive community benefits agreement which serves to mitigate displacement created by the university’s presence and addresses job creation, environmental problems and university-community relations.