A Brooklyn contingent of mainly Black and Brown religious leaders from across the borough on Thursday threw their support behind the proposed rezoning of Industry City on the Sunset Park waterfront.
The support comes through the 400 Foundation, a group of faith leaders from across the city who are stepping up to address 400 years of economic injustice starting with the first African enslavement in a Virginia colony in 1619 to promote jobs and opportunities for men and women of color in New York City’s development and construction industry.
“As soon as the New York City Council returns to session, one of the items it will vote on is the rezoning of Sunset Park’s Industry City,” said Rev. Clinton Miller, pastor of Brown Memorial Baptist Church in neighboring Clinton Hill. “Local clergy support the rezoning from heavy manufacturing to light manufacturing in the interest of creating jobs and providing a technological relevant training ground for Brooklyn high schools and college students.”
Supporters of the rezoning cite the need for more space for small businesses to grow and the job opportunities necessary during a time of economic uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Industry City CEO Andrew Kimball says his plan for expansion will re-purpose the use of the privately-owned 16-acre campus to create 20,000 new jobs.
The Brooklyn religious leaders agree that as long as a substantial portion of job slots are filled by south Brooklyn residents including individuals from Red Hook, Gowanus and Wyckoff housing developments, this is a welcomed opportunity.
According to Kimball, public and catholic high school students of Brooklyn will have full access to technological training at Industry City. In addition, Industry City will avail itself to accommodate Minority and Women-owned businesses (WMBE) that may have struggled during the pandemic.
The clergy plans to continue working with Kimball to translate this rezoning into meaningful careers for Brooklynites.
“Our hope and advocacy is hinged on the possibility that any public or private project would result in jobs that would stabilize both individuals and families in Brooklyn and beyond,” said Pastor Rodney Plummer from Calvary Baptist Church in Red Hook: