On Monday, June 6, Community Board 3 met for the first of two board meetings it will hold this month. With Chairman Tremaine Wright in Albany, First Vice Chair Oma Holloway led the packed room of participants through an equally packed agenda.
Updates from Elected Officials
Representatives of elected officials kicked off the night with updates from their offices. Congressman Hakeem Jeffries thanked the community for coming out to his Congress on Your Corner event last Saturday, where he took note of several concerns from community members, including the ongoing frustration with Bedford-Stuyvesant's post offices.
Jeffries explained that the issue stems from the 75 years worth of pensions the post office was required to pay for in advance, which has left it with an inadequate amount of resources to fulfill its duties. Nevertheless, Jeffries believes that the post office should "try to do more with less." In a meeting with the post office later this month, they will try to figure out how to do that.
Continuing the theme of holding people accountable, a representative from the office of Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announced that the Howard Beach attorney who stole $600,000 from the estate of his deceased client Judge John Phillips was indicted on May 25. "He will get his fair date in court," the district attorney said to the charged up crowd. Thompson will also be hosting his fourth Begin Again event on Saturday, June 11, from 9:00am to 3:00pm at the St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Bushwick.
A representative from Assembly member Annette Robinson's office announced that the assemblywoman will step down from her position in December. In the meantime, Robinson will be hosting a Veterans' Resource Fair at Restoration Plaza on Monday, June 27.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams also will be hosting a fair for Arts and Culture of June 25-26 at the Brooklyn Museum.
According to District 33 Councilmember Stephen Levin, New York City's budget should be finalized sometime this week. He hopes that it will result in an increase of Summer Youth Employment Program slots, more summer camp sites and an increase in the emergency food budget for food pantries.
A representative of District 36 Councilmember Robert Cornegy announced that there will be a Senior Ambassador Recruitment on June 14, as well as a community bike ride on Wednesday, June 15.
District 41 Councilmember Darlene Mealy will host the annual Greg Jocko Jackson Film Festival on Wednesday June 7 at the Brownsville Recreation Center from 11:00am to 2:00pm.
Dr. Torian Easterling, the Assistant Commissioner for the Department of Health, cautioned people to take measures to protect themselves from disease-carrying mosquitoes. He advised eliminating sources of standing water, as even a capsize of water is all mosquitoes need to breed.
The new CEO of Woodhull Hospital, Gregory Calliste, stopped by to introduce himself to the community. Calliste called Woodhull Hospital the "best kept secret of Brooklyn" and encouraged people to make Woodhull their hospital of choice.
Recently promoted Inspector Scott Henderson of the 81st Precinct announced that the precinct will receive 16 cops in July. Henderson acknowledged that in warmer times policing challenges do increase, but Henderson is still open to block party invitations.
- Michael Lambert, the executive director of the Bed-Stuy Gateway BID, appealed to the full community board for a resolution in support of the BID's application to the New York State Main Street Program. Funding from the program would allow the BID to partner with businesses seeking to revamp their storefronts. The board agreed to write the resolution of support.
- The legal representatives for the owners of 553 Marcy Avenue, the former Cascade Laundry site, presented their plans to develop seven new buildings on the property. The plans call for the development of several mixed commercial and residential buildings of varying heights, with the inclusion of a Fresh Food Store. Community residents and board members had several questions for the legal representatives, specifically about the affordability of the proposed apartments and the disposal of the site's hazardous chemicals. It appears that 66 units out of 301 total will be set aside for affordable housing. As for the environmental concerns, New York State will be monitoring the clean up of the chemicals.
- The owners of El Jefe, a "fast-casual" Mexican restaurant and Dinghy, an Israeli-Mediterranean restaurant, sought letters of support for alcohol beverage control licenses. The board voted to write letters of support.
- A member of the community asked the board to look into the parking meters recently installed on Broadway. She would like the time limit on the meters to be increased from one hour to two hours.
- Another community member from Tompkins Organics would like the board to look into the unused lot at Macon Street and MacDonough Street, which "has been an eyesore for fifteen years." Tompkins Organics would like to grow an organic community garden in the spot.
- A group of students would like to address the empty lot on Chauncey Street. Though it is owned by a private company, the students would like to turn it into a literary and poetry garden.
Community Board 3 will hold its next meeting on Monday, June 27 at 7:00pm in the basement level of Restoration Plaza.