A revolution at a New York Street Fair

A Kathak performance at Chhaya’s Annual Chatpati Mela in Jackson Heights, Queens, July 13. An estimated 2,00 people attended the mela held outside Chhaya’s main office. The location of 77th Street is bittersweet, organizers said. A recent change in ownership of Chhaya’s main office building in Jackson Heights, means that the housing justice organization is facing its own threat of displacement. A significant rent increase has launched the local non-profit into a search for a new home, facing the possibility of having to leave its neighborhood of origin. “Chhaya staff came together and decided on the theme ‘Here to Stay,’” said executive director Annetta Seecharran. “The theme not only invokes the threat that our community is being pushed out of Jackson Heights, but it also strikes a chord in these times when immigrant communities as a whole are under attack.” There were also informative speeches capturing: “Know Your Rights,” the importance of filling out Census 2020, the recent victory in the “NO AMAZON” coalition, and the celebration of the passed Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act 2019. Highlights included community and leadership awards, cultural programs, vendors and regional cuisine.

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