Last night, the Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance (KARA) held a rowsingly star-studded rally to promote its push for living wage jobs ($10 and hour, plus benefits) at the Armory.
As we said yesterday, Community Board 7 voted to conditionally approve of the Related Companies' plan to turn the Armory into a shopping mall, but they did not include any language about requiring the developer, in a binding Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), to provide living wage jobs at the Armory once its up and running.
A couple of months ago, the Norwood News ran an unpopular (and perhaps misleading) headline that essentially said hopes for living wages at the Armory were dead. But based on last night's rally, where more than 500 local residents and activists showed up to voice their support for living wage jobs, I'd say hope is definitely still alive.
Democratic mayoral candidate Bill Thompson made a brief cameo to voice his support for KARA and living wage jobs at the Armory, criticizing his opponent Mayor Bloomberg in the process. Given Bloomberg's staunch opposition to benefits agreements and friendly ties to Related and other developers, the living wage requirement could become an issue with legs that plays out as the campaign unfolds this summer.
Stuart Applebaum, the head of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which has endorsed Thompson (despite heavy lobbying from Bloomberg's camp), also offered its support for KARA.
Enjoy the slideshow. All photos by Adi Talwar.