Take from the poor, give to the rich.
The New York Times just published a scathing article on the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund which was founded to make peace with a furious community at the taking over of 25 acres of beloved parkland to create the new Yankee Stadium.
But are we surprised on the findings that this community, which not only endured the nightmare construction of the new stadium and the demolition of the old but also the traffic and pedestrian nightmares that come to the area with home games, has been neglected by the charity?
The purpose of the charity is to provide a benefit to that very community which Yankee Stadium disturbs but as The New York Times shows, only 30% of $6.8 million disbursed between 2008 and 2015 have gone to community organizations in the immediate surrounding zip codes that border the stadium.
70% of the monies have gone to places like Riverdale and The New York Botanical Gardens which are no where near the stadium.
$40 million, 600,000 tickets, and sports equipment were allotted to the fund to distribute over the course of 40 years to the borough but the areas that need it the most and are impacted the most by Yankee Stadium are being shafted.
The New York Times reports:
“The Funding and Energy Only Goes to a Select Few”
“All the other nonprofits that I know of who have grants for community organizations are very proactive in terms of alerting the community,” said Joyce Hogi, who is on the board of the Bronx Museum and has been involved in local nonprofits for decades. The Yankee Stadium fund, she said, is “like a deep, dark secret.”
Agnes Johnson, a member of the South Bronx Community Congress, a group of neighborhood activists who have tried to monitor the Yankee Stadium fund, said that “the funding and energy only goes to a select few.”
Miya Chen, a staff lawyer at the Partnership for Working Families Community Benefits Law Center, a network of advocacy groups that assists communities in negotiating agreements with city governments and developers, called the Yankees C.B.A. “a behind-the-scenes deal, something to tokenize the community, to say on paper they were going to give the community something when in practice it’s been really hard to hold the parties accountable.”
Over the years, at least $300,000 in grants has flowed to organizations that have shared common board members with the Yankee Stadium fund.
Fund Money Flows Far From Yankee Stadium
To be sure, many Bronx organizations have benefited from the $6.8 million that has been distributed. SCAN New York, a youth and family services organization, has received the most money over all, netting $120,000 in donations over the years. The Bronx Children’s Museum has received $45,000, the most of any organization in the Yankee Stadium ZIP code. But often the money goes to communities far from the South Bronx.
In 2014, the fund sent $8,500 to the New York City Cat Coalition, a group of women helping feral cats in Eastchester, seven miles from the stadium. It has also donated at least $18,000 to two private high schools in Throgs Neck, an affluent neighborhood nine miles from the stadium.
The Edgewater Athletic Association, a recreation center in a gated community in Throgs Neck, has received $29,000.
Read the full story: Yankee Stadium Charity Is Called Into Question