Community Board 3 Public Meeting, September 14, 2015—Tremaine Wright, Chair
On Monday, September 14, Community Board 3, representing the neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, held its first meeting of the season following the summer break.
Leading the meeting’s discussion was the issue of participatory budgeting, a first-time initiative for City Councilmembers Robert Cornegy, Jr. and Laurie Cumbo whereby, through an exercise of direct democracy, residents age 14 and up have a chance to work with local agencies to develop and propose ideas into fundable projects, and then vote on the projects in the spring. The question is how would you want $1 million on capital projects only—investments in real property, such as libraries, parks, playgrounds, athletic centers, street, anything with a life of more than 5 years and evaluated at least $35,000.
They are encouraging residents to sign up and volunteer as a budget delegate and attend the upcoming neighborhood assembly meetings for Cumbo and Cornegy. Volunteers need to be willing to work to gain support for your idea and develop that idea into a fundable project. You do not need to be registered to vote in the district; you jut need to live in the district.
- Assemblymember Walter Mosley spoke about a bi-partisan initiative he is chairing on poverty. He added that he will be championing a bill on bail reform: “Often times, bail has nothing to do with innocence or guilt; its about insuring someone shows up in court. It’s a draconian measure in which courts are not given a level of ability to determine if someone is a violent offender,” said Mosley. “I will be working with Joe Lentol and Sen. Velmanette Montgomery to deal with this across the major cities.”
- BP Eric Adams spoke about his “10,000 Concerned Brooklynites”—an initiative where you can sign on using a Google link and connect with your area of expertise (youth, domestic violence, elderly care). Registrants can then do a series of meetups with other people who have the same passion. “It’s a way to give back to the community,” said Adams. He talked about a handbook called “Free Services,” which lists all of the free resources to help people navigate the system. He talked about a series of town halls he hosted on tenants’ rights. He said he is taking the report of the information and complaints and sending it to the attorney general’s office to help go after and prosecute landlords who are harassing tenants. He encouraged all residents who have complaints or questions to email him at: [email protected] “I answer every single one of my emails,” said Adams.
- City Councilmember Robert Cornegy talked about the upcoming Neighborhood Assembly this Saturday, the first in a series of 3 participatory budget meetings. “This is the first time we will be participating, and we will be asking you through a vote in April how to spend a million of the city’s dollars that will directly impact the quality of life in these neighborhoods,” said Cornegy.
- A representative from the office of Public Advocate Letitia James representative gave an update: James has sued the DOE so that children with special needs will have air conditioning on their buses. Also, she has sued ACS to begin an investigation into what is happening with children mired inside of the foster care system.
- Shelton Jones, representative for D.A. Ken Thompson’s office: The office just held its second Begin Again event (which allows people to address their minor summonses). There were close to 800 people who showed up, 652 of which had warrants vacated or moved from their arrest record. In total, over the course of two events, 1400 warrants have been cleared. The office plans to hold another one, hopefully in Bed-Stuy. Jones also mention that there will be a national summit in October to go over their conviction review unit because of Thompson’s success and leadership in overturning the convictions of innocent people throughout Kings County.
- A representative from Brownstoners spoke about a virtual bowling session held every Thursday at the Macon Library. Also, Bed-Stuy Alive is coming, October 10, concluding with the annual Brownstoner House Tour., Oct. 17 (their annual fundraiser). The money raised from the house tour feeds the scholarships to students from BGHS and Bed-Stuy Academy.
- Julius Wilson of 500 Men Making a Difference, said on September 19, they will be participating in a Peace Walk against gun violence, followed by a press conference by the grassroots organizations that are combating violence. 500 Men also will be presenting emergency serve training September 29, 4:00pm – 8:00pm. They have a lot of construction projects going on. And they are working now with Restoration Corporation to offer free classes now in OSHA training and certification. The next class is September 10.
- A representative from Prep for Prep spoke about recruiting for middle school students. The program prepares and places students over the course of 15 months in prep schools. Those that get placed are “preps for life.” The program is targeting African-American and Latino students and others from low-income communities.
- Big brother and Big Sister Program received grant money to do more work in Brooklyn. The agency is looking to increase the number of black and Hispanic male mentors. If interested, you can contact Alize Beale at 646-274-6047, or [email protected]. They will come out and talk to groups and do presentations, upon request.
District Manager’s Report—Henry L. Butler
- Encouraging homeowners to get water and pipe insurance because of the work that DEP is doing.
- There will be a meeting next week with area district managers; on the agenda is are the state of post offices in the area. Butler will be discussing the various reported issues surrounding the Shirley Chisholm post office in Bed-Stuy. He said, if you have complaints or concerns about that office please call Congressman Hakeem Jeffries or the community board office at 718-622-6601.
- Economic Development Committee: Alcohol Beverage Control License letter of request for support by SJB Horizon LLC, 557 Classon Avenue. Owner Stuart Boucaud spoke:
- Economic Development Committee: Alcohol Beverage Control License letter of request for support by ATC Brooklyn LLC, 1198 Fulton Street. Owner Kristen Amendola spoke:
- Economic Development Committee: Alcohol Beverage Control License letter of request for support by Captain Dan’s Good Time Tavern, 497 Greene Avenue. Owner Adrienne Dowd and Attorney Frank Palilo spoke
- Economic Development Committee: Alcohol Beverage Control License letter of request for support by B&L Restaurant Group LLC, 564 Dekalb Avenue. Owner Mark Fahrer and Attorney Jae Yu spoke:
Community Board 3 meets the first Monday of each month. The next scheduled meeting is on Monday, October 5, 2015.