Last Sunday, we invited Knickerbocker block party goers to sew into the fabric map.

Sewers ranged from young photographers and graphic designers to a family recently arrived from Puebla, Mexico, to the children, nephews and nieces of the caretaker of a nearby church.

A big conversation topic that wove across different demographics was rising rents.

Two long-time residents, Lorena and Emma, who have lived in the area around Maria Hernandez Park for over 25 years, complained that they are being pressured by their landlord to move out, “I’m not bad for society.  My only crime is that I pay low rent.”  The landlord would like to replace them with new, higher paying tenants, but Lorena and Emma have raised their children in their neighborhood and have no plans to leave. They see their church as a place where everyone from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds come together.  They are working with the priest there and with Make the Road NY to organize for tenant rights and to advocate for legal reforms that prevent credit card and loan companies from taking advantage of the poor.

The event was beautifully organized by the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Center and Arts in Bushwick, and you can read more about it in Aaron Short’s article in here!

And thank you to our new intern, Dani Garcia for volunteering!