Some Recent Comments from the Petition

As I have written before, I am truly astonished at the emotion in so many of your comments. I would like to share just a few here, (without using any names).

 At least once in a generation we are reminded, in such conspicuous fashion, that WE MUST continue to resist these bullying encroachments of our basic property ownership rights. This is a watershed case. We are all compelled to stand behind Nick in his efforts to make a difference for all of us, especially those less profiled and seemingly without a representative voice.

 Forty nine years ago in Cuba, a small group of individuals determined that it served “the greater good” to take property, business, money and homes from people who had worked all their lives to accomplish what they earned. This was how and why my family came to this country.
No private institution has the right to use the government to meet their ends at the peril of the citizens, regardless of who they are and what they represent they will do for the “community”
Eminent Domain IS WRONG.

As a student of Columbia, I have to say I am not proud of my University’s action’s. I and many other students are doing all we can to direct the university’s attention to the serious ethical errors that Columbia is making in pursuing a dog-eat-dog worldview on this expansion. Very unsettling moment in our school’s history.

My family moved to Harlem in May of 1986. I have seen the ups and downs of Harlem. When we moved here, my parents were told that banks did not lend to homeowners in Harlem. We did not receive the same quality of service that other communities received, i. e. adequate garbage pick up, poor mail service and no police support. We were even told that were were not really Manhattan residents even though we share the same island.

Now everyone enjoys what Harlem has to offer (the beautiful architecture, rich, diverse culture, great food and entertainment) and wants to know why did “they” destroy it. People constantly ask why do “they” treat their neighborhoods this way. When the City refuses to treat all of it’s citizens fairly and equally, people rebel. Harlem was bought back to it’s splendor by “they,” the people that have lived here through the good and bad times. Utilizing community outreach and development programs initiated by community activist that refused to let the heritage of Harlem fade away, like so many other culturally rich communities in New York, making Harlem one of the crown jewels of New York City, again.

But Columbia University never wanted to consider itself apart of the Harlem community. Now it wants to rape the community of its communal spaces, housing and businesses to expand its private institution that most residents in the area cannot afford to attend and are not even offered an opportunity to do so. And what does Columbia offer in return – NOTHING. The small trinkets the University believes it is giving the community is long over due and should have been done years ago. The residents do not want something for nothing, WE WANT TO BE TREATED WITH THE SAME RESPECT AND DIGINITY AS ANY OTHER COMMUNITY IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK.

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