1,274 members of Queens Power gathered in early June directly across from the Creedmoor Psychiatric Hospital at Alley Pond Park to call on Governor Kathy Hochul to build 100% affordable homeownership and rental units on all state-owned sites in the City, starting with Creedmoor. "Both the Governor and State Legislature failed the people of New York amid an existential housing crisis," explained Ben Thomases, Queens Power Co-Chair. "They failed to pass meaningful housing legislation to address affordability affecting all New Yorkers and our children and grandchildren." Meanwhile, a 110-acre site across the street at Creedmoor is ready to build. "We are here today to act," declared Barbara Campbell, a nurse from First Presbyterian Church of Jamaica Queens. "We had to see this site for ourselves. To see that this can happen right now - we can build 100% affordable."
Vincent Domenech, son of founding Nehemiah leader Irving Domenech, tapped into the history of East Brooklyn Congregations, building over 5000 Nehemiah homes and apartments over the last 40 years. "We are here across from Creedmoor -- to resurrect the land -- claim it as our own – and pass on the legacy of Nehemiah from the people of Brooklyn to the people of Queens." Joe Branch, Vice President of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1056 in Queens, turned to the site and responded, "Queens Power, Creedmoor is our Nehemiah!"
Over the last year, Queens Power met with hundreds of residents who work in Queens but can no longer afford to live in Queens. "My son is a New York City firefighter. He can't afford to buy a home in Queens," explained June Forde, South Ozone Park resident. "My question for the Governor is why is my son good enough to work in Queens, save lives in Queens but not good enough to live in Queens?" A 28-year-old hospital worker, Brianna Zimmerman from Queens Village, shared that all her friends who grew up with her have either left or live with their parents. She said, "There is a shame for us that comes with being unable to be on your own Today, that ends. I am here to fight, and I need you to fight." The overflowing crowd began to chant, "We belong. We are not leaving. We shall not be moved - build 100% affordable."
Earlier this year, Governor Hochul had responded to Queens Power's requests to build 100% affordable by launching a community development planning process for the site led by Empire State Development. "We are in an emergency. We don't need process. We need production," explained Queens Power Leader Bishop Curtis Douglas. "The Governor has the power. She doesn't need the State Legislature. She owns the site. Controls the site. Build 100% affordable now." Queens Power Co-Chair Ben Thomases continued, "Governor Hochul, we have three demands. Step up! Expedite building 100% affordable at Creedmoor like you did upstate with the Buffalo Bills. Show up! Meet Queens Power and Metro IAF and commit to true affordability and homeownership. Sign up. Act to build 100% affordable on all state-owned sites." Bishop Douglas concluded, "Governor Hochul, come out, come out wherever you are!"
Queens Power was joined by its sister organizations, East Brooklyn Congregations, Manhattan Together, South Bronx Churches, and 40 other organizations that signed up to champion the Build 100% Affordable Campaign and hold the Governor accountable.