With less than a month away from Election Day, attendance of elected officials at Community Board 3’s public meeting was surprisingly low. Considering New Yorkers will be electing a new Governor and the Democratic Party may lose the House, one would think there would be a stronger presence and commitment from our elected officials to come out and encourage their constituents to get out and vote. Although local City Councilman Al Vann dropped by, his intent was mainly to introduce his latest venture – a newsletter entitled City Hall Roundup which he promises will keep the community connected to City Hall. The monthly publication includes a summary of passed legislation while highlighting Councilman Vann’s behind-the-scenes governmental workings.The Community Board also received a rare visit from New York State Assemblyman William Boyland. The last-standing heir to the Boyland political dynasty gave an update on our failing school system highlighting his efforts to prevent additional closings. Assemblyman Boyland stated that he has been working in concert with the mayor’s office to prevent further closings and invited the community to join him in his fight to improve our school system. Representatives from NY State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, NY State Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, City Councilwoman Letitia James and Borough President Marty Markowitz’ offices were also present. Neither City Councilwoman Darlene Mealey and/or a representative were present. 28 fo,; 3 against, 4 abstention and 2 recuse. The new Commander of the 79th Precinct Inspector Peter J. Bartoszek, was also in attendance. With less than 5 months on the job, the youthful Inspector expressed his appreciation and support from the community while warning residents to be cautious of their surroundings. Over the summer the community had a sharp increase in burglaries and car break-ins. In an effort to combat this current wave, the city has deployed 20 crime-prevention officers who are out on the streets providing safety and crime-prevention tips. After remarks from elected officials and civic leaders, Chairman Henry Butler addressed the agenda items. First item up was an overview of Community Board 3 Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Request. Through a series of meetings and residential solicitation, the top 5 capital spending items submitted for Community Board 3 were – 1) Construction of the sanitation garage; 2) Installation of an elevator at the Utica Avenue Subway Station; 3) Reconstruction of Nostrand Avenue from Flushing to Atlantic Avenues; and 5) The development of affordable housing and retail space along Fulton Street. There were only two informational presentations on the agenda. The first presentation was a public hearing from the Health & Social Service Committee. The presentation was given by Wayne C. Wiltshire, CEO, Paul J. Cooper Center for Human Services. The agency is in negotiations to purchase and move its operations from Brownsville to a facility located at 510 Gates Avenue and seeks a letter of support from the Community Board. According to their Web site, the Paul J. Cooper Center for Human Services has been in operation for over 37 years providing various services to help those with chemical dependency, development disabilities and mental health issues. The board voted 28 for, 3 against and received 4 abstention and 2 recusals. Over the recent years, the Bedford-Stuyvesant community has been a magnet for program housing. The Community Board has been diligently working with city agencies to minimize the increase of illegal facilities opening up. Just last year, the Bainbridge/Malcolm X Block Association, in concert with Community Board 3 and concerned citizens, successfully closed an illegal facility operating on Malcolm X Blvd. The second informational presentation came from the Education and Youth Services Committee. Committee Chair Renee Turner Gregory introduced Susan J. Paterson, Deputy Director, Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD). Ms. Paterson, along with a fellow colleague, gave a brief presentation on the DYCD neighborhood advisory boards. The advisory boards, which are located in low-income communities, is a 7-to-12 member board that is responsible for helping identify community priorities and directing DYCD funding to support needed programs within their communities. DYCD is currently seeking to fill 4 seats on its Bedford-Stuyvesant board.
UPCOMING EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES:Saturday, October 9, 2008- Bed Stuy-Alive! Street FestivalEvent: Bed-Stuy Alive! Street Festival & Tohma Y. Faulkner AwardsDescription: Ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring an excerpted performance from world-famous MAAFA, community awards and musical performances by Restoration Rocks! Featuring Tamar-Kali, DJ. Rimarkable, Jean Grae, Invincible. Venue: Fulton Street Sound stage (Between New York and Kingston Avenues)Time: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PMTicket Info: FREE & Open to the Public
Sunday, October 17, 2010 – 2010 Education Forum: Public Education Under AttackEvent: 2010 Public Education Forum: Public Education Under AttackDescription: The Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats Presents its 2010 Education Forum. Several guests will address various issues impacting New York City’s public education system. Subject areas include DOE Test Score Scams; Misguided Federal, State & City Policies; Under receivers, Not Under-Achievers; Charter School Idea Hijacked; Corporate Big-Buck Takeover. Guest speakers include Akinlabi Mackall, Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence; Mona David, New York Charter School Parents Association; John Tarleton, The Independent Newspaper. The event will be facilitated by Chris Owens.Venue: Union Temple, 17 Eastern ParkwayTime: 3:00 PM – 5:00 PMTicket Info: FREE
Keith L. Forest is a freelance publicist, writer and proud Bedford-Stuyvesant home owner who lives and works in the beloved community. His current blog space mybedstuy.blogspot.com seeks to celebrate the people and places that make up this great community while addressing issues such as gentrification, predatory lending and other ill norms that seek to exploit, discredit and harm the area and its people. You can follow Mr. Forest on Facebook at Keithlforest or Twitter at Keithlforest.