Our 9th #BuildCommunityPower Conference took place Thursday, April 11, 2019 at the Grand Hyatt New York.

ANHD’s annual #BuildCommunityPower policy conference is the event for New York City’s community groups, mission-driven developers, neighborhood organizers, banks and bank regulators, foundation funders, and government decision makers interested in affordable housing and equitable economic development. Our full-day conference features:

  • High-profile plenary speakers
  • Advocates and experts from across the field
  • Timely policy and skills-development sessions
  • Networking opportunities to discuss pressing community development issues


To see photos from the event taken by our conference photographer Carolina Kroon, click here.


ANHD’s conference begins at 8:30 AM and ends with a happy hour reception at around 5 PM. Please see below for the full-day agenda or click here to download a copy.

8:30 AM - Breakfast and Networking

9:15 AM - Call to the Main Ballroom

9:30 AM - Morning Keynote Address, John C. Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York 

10:10 AM - Awards Presentation to 

  • Harry DeRienzo, this year's Champion of Affordable Housing
  • Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, this year's Champion of Equitable Economic Development
  •  Chhaya CDC, this year's Champion of Organizing

10:45 AM - Workshop Track 1 

  • Charter Reform: Righting the Rules for our Communities
  • Where We've Been & Where We're Going: Strategies for Equitable Economic Development
  • Modern Day Redlining & the Racial Wealth Gap
  • Data in the Movement: 2019

12:05 PM - Workshop Track 2

  • Exposing the Elephant in the Room: Building Race/Class Narratives in Our Advocacy
  • Maximizing Public Value: Why the City Must Do More in Affordable Housing Developments
  • Building Commercial Tenant Power: What Works, What Doesn't, and What Lies Ahead
  • Universal Rent Control?! Building Statewide Power in a New Political Moment

1:15 PM - Seated Lunch 

1:45 PM - Fireside Chat with New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams &  New York State Senator Zellnor Myrie

2:20 PM - Policy Plenary Panel on Trickle Down Development

3:45 PM - Workshop Track 3

  • It's (Almost) Always About Speculation
  • Displacement as Violence, Building as Healing: Rewriting Collective Trauma
  • The Opposite of NIMBY: Bushwick & Two Bridges, Case Studies in Community Led Rezonings
  • Changing Federal Landscape: How It Impacts Community Development in New York City

5:00 PM - Cocktail Reception and Networking

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Meet Our Keynote Speaker

John C. Williams became the 11th president and chief executive officer of the New York Fed on June 18th of 2018. In that capacity, he serves as the vice chairman and a permanent member of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

Mr. Williams was previously the president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Prior to that, he was the executive vice president and director of research for the San Francisco Fed, which he joined in 2002. Mr. Williams has been a strong advocate for policies to stimulate the economy and get Americans back to work in the wake of the Great Recession. He has produced seminal research on such critical monetary policy issues as the Zero Lower Bound and the neutral rate of interest.

As CEO of the San Francisco Fed, Mr. Williams focused on the development of the next generation of Federal Reserve leaders and fostered a culture of innovation, continuous learning, collaboration and mutual respect. He was a champion of creating a diverse workforce as well as an inclusive culture and under his leadership, the bank made significant strides in achieving greater diversity at all levels, most notably among its senior leadership team.

He began his career in 1994 as an economist at the Board of Governors. Additionally, he served as a senior economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers and as a lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

Mr. Williams has a PhD in economics from Stanford University, and a Master of Science from the London School of Economics, and an A.B. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Mr. Williams’ research focuses on topics including: monetary policy under uncertainty; innovation; and business cycles.

Mr. Williams is married with two sons.

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Afternoon Policy Plenary

Trickle-Down Development: Why Do City Leaders Say that Unrestricted Development Helps Low-Wealth Neighborhoods?

New market-rate housing is said to add to the general housing supply, which relieves demand and causes some higher-cost housing to “filter down” to become low-cost housing. Economic development deals such as Amazon are said to be worth it because, while most of the jobs will be for high-end professionals, in the end the benefits will trickle down to a wider range of people. Are these arguments true?

New York City is booming, with both high-end housing development and high-end job growth expanding at historic rates. Working with our member groups though, we see this growth is still not being shared by all. Our community groups and residents have tangible concerns about increasing displacement risks and stagnate job growth that is unable to keep up with rising rents and living costs.

This year’s afternoon policy plenary will focus on the question of whether or not high-end market-driven housing development and economic development actually filters down to have a benefit for low-income neighborhoods and residents. This “trickle down development” question matters because as we are seeing, rezoning and the big economic development deals are not necessarily making New York City more affordable or equitable for all.

In order to look for a critical analysis on this argument and to offer alternative approaches, we are curating a panel of experts from the field to discuss this topic. We hope to leave the day having a better sense on how we can address the affordable housing crisis, and how we can support more equitable economic development in New York City.

Moderated by: Sally Goldenberg, Politico


  • Denise Scott, Executive Vice President for Programs at LISC
  • Sheila Garcia, Director at CASA New Settlement Apartments and Tenant Representative on the Rent Guidelines Board
  • Michelle de la Uz, Executive Director at Fifth Avenue Committee and NYC Planning Commission Member
  • Lena Afridi, Director of Economic Development Policy at ANHD
  • Karen Chapple, Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley
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