New Members Join Chinatown Working Group

Chinatown Working Group; April 2011.

Members of the Chinatown Working Group (CWG) will try, once again, tonight to elect new leaders and vote on other key issues. Last month, the community planning organization met but accomplished very little, since they couldn’t muster a quorum.  The CWG hopes to elect new co-chiars, replacing Gigi Li and Mae Lee, who have been serving in an interim capacity since last fall.

CAAAV, a neighborhood advocacy organization and CWG member, held a news conference yesterday in Sara D. Roosevelt Park. They announced that representatives from three residential buildings (11 Allen, 197 Madison and 61 Delancey) would be joining the Chinatown Working Group. In April, the CWG passed new rules making it easier for LES/Chinatown buildings to meet membership requirements.

“Our building wanted to join because we see the changes happening in our neighborhood, we have ideas, and we want the CWG to know that without tenants being a part of the CWG, it’s not a truly community-based process,” Fu Ko Poon of 197 Madison Street said in a news release. “It’s our futures that are being discussed in the CWG, and we need to be able to really participate in the planning.”

The new members will be able to formally join as long as they complete and submit the required paperwork. Recently, the Little Italy Merchants’ Association made the decision to join the CWG, as well.

For the past three years, he Chinatown Working Group has been drafting a comprehensive neighborhood plan, including proposals for zoning, affordable housing, historic preservation, open space, education, transportation and cultural institutions. Their work ground to a halt late last year, while members revamped the group’s governing structure.