Fortunately, NYCHA reversed its decision to evict houses of worship from city owned projects. In communities were youth are confronted with temptations such as gangs and drugs on a daily basis, it is good to see that the modern day saints working in our city housing projects will NOT be evicted. Is it our goal to leave our children ignorant and morally defenseless against merchants of death feeding on our community? Do we want our prisons filled to capacity with our youth because there was no one to help put them on the right path? Under this scenario we would have evicted Mother Teresa when she was doing her work in impoverished gang riddles housing projects in the Bronx.
Major Kudos to Councilman Cabrera, all the religious leaders and all the community members who made noise on this issue. If there ever was a litmus test proving how out if touch the ruling elite are in regards to the housing projects that feed, house and put their children through private schools; this is it. The officials in NYCHA, who made this original decision to evict houses of worship from city owned properties need to be reminded that their role as city employees is to run the projects; not use government edicts to impose their atheist or agnostic beliefs on a community that they know nothing about or left behind in disdain. Our religious institutions, no matter what denomination, provide communities with a higher self imposed standard of humanity. Degradation of these religious institutions are a direct genocide on our community. Every registered voter should be aware of what side of the battle line their elected officials are on related to this and similar issues. If you are not registered you should make a point to register.
City Council Member Fernando Cabrera comments on news that the New York City Housing Authority (“NYCHA”) has reversed its position to evict Houses of Worship from its facilities.
After the Supreme Court declined to hear Bronx Household of Faith vs. New York City Department of Education on December 5th, 2011, the New York City Department of Education announced it would ban religious worship inside public schools, as permitted by the June 2011 decision of the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. Subsequently, religious groups begun to be evicted from other public spaces, including Bronx Bible Church from Justice Sonia Sotomayor Houses, and Infinity New York Church from Bronx River Houses.
Following a series of rallies and demonstrations organized by Pastor Dimas Salaberrios and other religious leaders, including a rally on Thursday January 5th where Council Member Cabrera and pastors were arrested, the New York City Housing Authority has offered to work with houses of worship that meet on its properties. Pastor Dimas Salaberrios of Infinity New York Church was contacted by NYCHA on Friday January 6th and informed that NYCHA is willing to work with him and the other five pastors on new lease agreements. Pastor Dimas Salaberrios is the senior pastor at Infinity New York Church, which has met in the community center of the NYCHA Bronx River Houses for the last 5 years.
“This is a great victory,” said Councilman Fernando Cabrera “But the fight isn’t over and more rallies are being planned. We will continue to call on Mayor Bloomberg to lift the ban on Houses of Worship from meeting in public schools. I hope Mayor Bloomberg will follow the example of NYCHA’s and allow Houses of Worship to continue to meet in New York City Public Schools without restriction based on content.”