Organize and Advocate
“The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Grease”
The Hamilton Heights-West Harlem Community Preservation Organization (“CPO”) is a non-profit grassroots volunteer organization which seeks to bring together the many and varied community organizations–tenant, block, homeowners associations, local businesses and institutions to resolve issues, advocate for services from public agencies and celebrate our unique and diverse community.
Founded in 1996, the CPO’s mission is to inform, educate and advocate on issues that impact the quality of life in West Harlem. We seek to celebrate the diverse people, culture and communities of West Harlem and to preserve its unique architecture and historic places.
The CPO has served as the primary community advocate for many projects including the renovation of two park medians, Johnny Hartman Plaza and Donnellan Square; City and State designation of historic districts, the Hamilton Heights and Sugar Hill Historic Districts; installation of vintage lampposts in sections of the historic districts; the CPO led the battle to bring more attention and law enforcement services to the community; and rezoning of West Harlem to include the area from W 135th Street to 155th Street.
Neighborhoods and communities are strengthened through the coordination of persistent voices and efforts of those who care! The CPO believes that the voice of the community will be more effective when we work together to address issues and problems that affect us all.
Area of Involvement
• Commercial Revitalization and Economic Development: The CPO is working with area organizations to bring better goods and services to our commercial corridors.
• Advocacy and Dissemination of Information: Through a network of community leaders, activists, block and tenant leadership, local issues are brought to the forefront for discussion and consensus building.
• City Services: The CPO works with the community board, public agencies and elected officials to address the delivery of city services such as sanitation, police and transportation among others, to ensure community needs are understood.
• Historic Preservation: The CPO advocates for the preservation of West Harlem’s unique architecture and its historical and cultural significance spanning the Revolutionary War to the Harlem Renaissance. The CPO supports our “second renaissance” of brownstone restorations and the emergence of many neighborhood arts organizations.
• Beautification, Green Spaces, Public Infrastructure: Improvement of the streetscape including replanting trees, restoring parks, monitoring code violations and advocating for code enforcement and increases in support services.