The Bedford Union Armory Deal + Response

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Local News

  • The City Council Land Use Committee officially approved the Bedford Union Armory project. As expected, freshly re-elected Council Member Laurie Cumbo (District 35, Crown Heights) announced a new agreement with its developer to drop condos, deepen some affordability levels, and allocate some units to homeless persons. The full City Council will vote on the project on Thursday, November 30.
  • The Council’s Land Use Committee also approved the East Harlem rezoning, the third neighborhood rezoning of its kind under Mayor de Blasio. The rezoning is likely to accelerate market rate development in the neighborhood while subsidizing a fraction of new housing to be affordable for some low and middle income levels.
  • Senator Chuck Schumer went on the record for the first time to demand the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) rejoin State Senate Democrats.
  • The Mayor’s office was informed in April of 2016 that NYCHA had not performed legally mandated lead inspections, but the information was not revealed to the public until last week.
  • The New York Times explored what has gone wrong at the MTA.
  • A FOIL request revealed that Mayor de Blasio has maintained a warm relationship with Jared Kushner since his 2014 inauguration.


  • Multiple candidates vying for City Council Speaker seem to be on board with extending term limits for City Council from 8 years to 12 years.
  • Andrew Gounardes has officially announced his Democratic candidacy for the 22nd State Senate district (southern Brooklyn), and will face Ross Barkan in the primary with the hope of eventually unseating Republican Marty Golden in the general election. Gounardes is an aide to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and a long-time ally of Council Member-elect Justin Brannan (District 43, southwest Brooklyn).
  • The field of potential Republican challengers for Gov. Cuomo in 2018 is shrinking.
  • Even though re-elected Council Member Mathieu Eugene (District 40, Flatbush) may have broken electioneering laws on election day, he is unlikely to be held accountable.

In-Depth: The Bedford Union Armory Deal

From the Brooklyn DSA Housing Working Group

Over the last year and a half, NYC-DSA members have been fighting alongside longtime Crown Heights residents, labor unions, and community groups to kill the corrupt giveaway of public land at the Bedford Union Armory.

As an organization, we have learned so much through this campaign — about issue-based canvasses in neighborhoods, about working in coalition with community groups, about affordable housing and land use in New York City, and about the intersection of electoral and issue-based work. We’ve sharpened our organizing skills and our socialist politics by fighting for affordable housing at the Bedford Armory!

We are now at a major turning point in this campaign.

Last week, with the blessing of Council-member Laurie Cumbo, the Bedford Union Armory project passed through the city council subcommittee and committee stages of the final council approval process. The project changed significantly. Here is how:


Calling the deal “revolutionary,” Council Member Laurie Cumbo is prepared to approve the project on Thursday, November 30th at the 1:00 PM City Council stated meeting.

Thanks to all of DSA’s hard work, alongside members of our Kill the Deal coalition, this project is significantly more affordable. The project now requires ten percent of units be allocated for people transitioning out of homelessness, and the luxury condos have been removed. All of the so-called “affordable” units targeted to families making $94,000-$103,000 a year have been replaced by units for families making $51,540 per year.

But it’s just a fraction of what the community has been fighting for. We didn’t win anything on labor standards. Forty percent of the housing will still be private, market-rate rentals. A corrupt for-profit developer is still being given the right to build on our public land. There is no community control. This deal is not “revolutionary.”

In response, DSA is planning twitter rallies every day at 12:00 tagging Laurie Cumbo and reminding her that she ran her campaign on promise of 100% affordability at the Bedford Armory. Please tweet and retweet! A Facebook event with sample social media content is here and here.

Our coalition is planning an action on Thursday, November 30th at 12:00 for the FINAL VOTE. We’ll be on the steps of City Hall in Manhattan. Join us, and invite your friends! RSVP to the Facebook invitation here.

Thanks to everyone for working so hard on this fight for the last year and a half. If you have any questions about the Armory fight or where we are in the process, please reach out to Cea Weaver at

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