Press Release: Imani Garden To Be Cut Asunder Monday July 17th 4 PM

July 16th

For Immediate Release

IMANI GARDEN TO BE CUT ASUNDER

Imani Garden, an historic community garden located in Weeksville, Brooklyn, the oldest independent African-American community in New York City, is about to be cut into two pieces. Like Solomon’s baby, this garden is being cut asunder by the neglect of City and State officials. Unlike the real mother in the Solomon baby saga, neither the City nor the State is stepping in to save the baby.

To witness this destruction, attend our Press Conference on Monday July 17th at 4 PM at 89 Schenectady Avenue, between Dean Street and Pacific Streets

On Monday, the owner of 89 Schenectady Avenue, a lot purchased as a result of the City’s tax lien sale, a lot once owned by a non-profit, will put up fences that will cut an NYRP-owned community garden into two pieces – and lead to the destruction of an iconic willow tree that has graced this low-income community for over 50 years.

Founded as Imani Garden – which means “faith” in Swahili and is the final day of Kwanzaa – by the nearby Our Lady of Charity RC Church, 89 Schenectady Avenue was the subject of a series of tax lien sales in the early 2000’s by the City of New York. This despite the fact that it was owned by a non-profit created by a member of the OLOC church. Under existing procedures, a non-profit has to file annual notices with the State to be removed from the City tax rolls. By placing the burden of proof on often under-funded non-profits, this City-State two step manages to create a vast reservoir of properties for the gaping maws of land speculators.

In the case of Imani, to collect what appears to be less than $15,000 in back taxes, the City created a situation where speculators stand to rake in as much $235,000 or more. Nice deal for them, raw deal for Weeksville.

For more information call Greg Todd at 718-496-5139 or email imanigreg@gmail.com. Also see our website.

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