In 2016, Mayor de Blasio announced that a 73-block stretch of Jerome Avenue in the Bronx was up for a rezoning. What is a rezoning and who decides which neighborhoods go through the process?

In the spring of 2017, CUP collaborated with Teaching Artist Gabe Gordon and public high school students from the Bronx School for Law, Government, and Justice (LGJ) to dig a little deeper into rezoning. To investigate, students got out of the classroom and onto Jerome Avenue to speak with people invested in the future of the Bronx, from community members to government officials. Students created Zoning It In… as a guide to neighborhood rezonings, the impact they have on the city, and how communities can have a voice in the process.

Students debuted their project at the Bronx Documentary Center, where they presented their booklet, demonstrated their interview skills, and shared their creative process.

Get your own booklet here!

What People are Saying

This project made me realize that people have to go through a lot to get their voices heard. Now I know how to help people participate in issues that can change our neighborhoods. We have the power to influence what those changes are.” – Amanda Derrell, student

During our first interview, I believed in everything our interviewee told us. Then we had our second interview, who had a completely different viewpoint, and I didn’t know who to believe! It was great being able to speak to so many different people and to get the full story, not just one piece of it.” – Kelly Mendez, student

It’s exciting to hear how much these youths have learned. This issue impacts all ages, and it’s important for everyone to know how to fight for what they believe in.” – Pedro Estevez, President and Founder of the United Auto Merchants Association (UAMA)

Resources & Links

Bronx School for Law, Government, and Justice (LGJ) combines law-related studies with real-world learning experiences for students in grades 6-12. The school has its own mock courtroom and crime and forensic labs, and uses the New Bronx Criminal Court Complex as an extended classroom. Students explore careers in law and government through coursework, mentoring relationships, and internships while preparing for the challenges of college.

Funding Support

Major support for this program was provided by the public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and Council Member Vanessa Gibson.

Special Thanks

Susanna Blankley, Anna Burnham, Pedro Estevez, Jeneuse Geula, Aaron Jones, Phyllis Ma, Oscar Nuñez, Michael Parkinson, Jen Robinson, and Kristopher Steele


  • CUP
  • Teaching Artist
  • Gabe Gordon
  • Project Lead
  • Jenn Anne Williams 
  • Project Support
  • Christy Herbes
  • LGJ
  • Students
  • Nia Brooks
  • Amanda Derrell
  • Kelly Mendez
  • Marcus Xavier
  • With Assistance From
  • Caroline Coss
  • Amir Daily
  • William Duah
  • Fernando Tavarez


Johanie Hernandez

Director of Corporate and Community Partnerships

Kimberly Felder