View the People First Campaign Website.
View the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and Lower East Side Website.
Throughout the years, CSWA has organized working people to take control of their communities. We have fought to stop the trend of displacement which has uprooted the homes, workplaces, and places of everyday services for low-income communities of color, while the government works with private developers to turn our communities into consumption palaces for the rich. In the U.S., the housing rights movement, which only organizes tenants as consumers demanding better housing, has become increasingly dependent on private developers and unable to address privatization trends. Instead, CSWA sees working people as the agents of change in their community- we’ve mobilized workers to not only address the immediate problems of tenant harassment, illegal evictions, and housing shortages, but to develop preventative strategies to ensure working people’s voices be included in community planning. Throughout this struggle, CSWA has fought racist planning practices by both the government and the rich ethnic elites that used internal racism to control the community. Today, working people are leading the community of residents, workers, and small businesses against a racist rezoning plan that denies the Chinatown and the Lower East Side community of equal protections and aims to cause mass displacement.
1985, CSWA led a coalition called the Concerned Committee of the Chung Park Project to designate space of community use, including a daycare center, health clinics, and spaces for small businesses.
CSWA has also successfully organized low-income workers in homesteading and land trust in the Lower East Side.
1984, CSWA filed a lawsuit against the City of New York for granting the construction of the luxury condominium Henry Street Tower and similar developments in Chinatown. The precedent-setting victory reframed environmental impact- that people are part of the environment as much as or more than natural elements, such as water, air, and land.