CHCA Meeting Minutes: February 2012

The meeting of the Crow Hill Community Association was held on February 21, 2012, 7:30 PM at The Gospel Tabernacle Church, 725 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY.

  • President Eve Porter opens the meeting with a welcome to first-time attenders and board introductions. This month’s meeting will be an open forum for the community.
  • Safe In This Place
    Julia Taylor from Safe In This Place, a Franklin Ave. theater & dialogue project, announced that the final sharing of the group will be available on March 8 from 7:30 – 9:30 at St Theresa’s Church at 563 Sterling Pl. More info.
  • Art Not Arrest
    Lana and Kristen from Ground Up Designs announced that they raised the funds needed to complete the project. They brought a sample of what the structure will look like in the CHCA community garden. They are looking for merchants to host a box of the zip-ties so that people can donate money for art classes. If you want to host an art class, get in touch with Lana and Kristen: artnotarrests@gmail.com or 347.722.1659. They are looking for kids who need community service for school credit to intern for the project. One community member suggested connecting with the police reform organizing project.
  • Bike Racks on Franklin Ave.
    Judy, a volunteer with Transportation Alternatives, talked about their effort to get more bike parking in the neighborhood, particularly on Nostrand Ave. and areas east of Franklin. They will be doing a community survey to see where bike racks are needed and are feasible. New bike lanes are coming on Washington Ave. They are having a volunteer day on Saturday, March 3, 2 – 5 PM to take measurements and gather the support of businesses with a good spot in front for bike parking. RSVP to Judy (bartlettjudy@gmail.com) to let them know what time you’re available. Sign the online petition.
  • Subway Elevator
    A community member asked what could be done to get an elevator or escalator for the subway entrance at the Franklin Ave subway stop. Another community member said that it was scheduled to put an elevator in, but the MTA is so far behind on the project. Eve Porter said we could also talk to Community Board 2 about advocating for more frequent bus service.
  • Community Message Board
    CHCA volunteers are posting updates on the message boards on the community garden and at the subway entrance on Franklin. Information about hoisting, health services, job training, etc. are posted there on a regular basis.
  • Pawn Shop on Park Pl
    CHCA forwarded the community complaints to Tish James’ office. For those that don’t want the pawn shop in the neighborhood, call 311 to make a complaint that there is a pawn shop in an area not zoned for such a business. Make sure you give them the address: 711A Park Pl.
  • District Leader Olanike Alabi
    The presidential primary will be on April 24, and the congressional primary will be June 26 (moved from September). There is not yet a final date set for the state primary, there’s a bill in the assembly to also have it on June 26. Redistricting is taking place this year based on the census. The task force responsible for redrawing the lines issued their first draft, which Gov. Cuomo has not signed off on. The committee will issue another set by March 1. You can see the current status online.

CHCA Meeting Minutes: January 2012

The meeting of the Crow Hill Community Association was held on January 17, 2012, 7:30 PM at The Gospel Tabernacle Church, 725 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY.

  • Introduction of board members.
  • Recognition of community members attending for the first time.
  • MLK Day service:
    CHCA had a cleanup on Franklin Ave. to mark Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. About 12 people attended to clean up garbage on the avenue and add mulch in the CHCA planter boxes. The Candy Rush donated hot beverages for everybody after the cleanup.
  • Bike parking:
    Transportation Alternatives has started a petition to get more bike racks and corals in the community board 8 region. A representative, Judy, took suggestions from the community to promote the petition, and asked that CHCA endorse efforts for more bike parking.
  • Safe In This Place:
    CHCA is partnering with Safe In This Place to promote dialog in the neighborhood about public safety. The first session was last week and will continue for nine more weeks on Thursdays. On the week of March 8th the group will have a public sharing on what they did during the workshops. For more information, contact Julia at safeinthisplace@gmail.com or 708-408-2004.
  • Garden project:
    Ground Up Designers presented their garden installation project initiated after the shootings in the neighborhood over Labor Day. It’s an awareness raising effort for gun violence issues that will also be a fundraising platform. An art installation will go up in the community garden in the spring, and grow throughout the summer. The installation will be made of color versions of the plastic zip-ties used by the police force as handcuffs. Ground Up took general questions and feedback from the community and asked for recommendations of organizations that the money raised could be donated to. You can see a video on the project here.
  • Armory update:
    • CHCA board member Nina explained the history of the Armory at Bedford & Atlantic and talked about Coalition for Bedford Atlantic Armory Reform (CBAAR) and it’s mission.
    • Two CHCA board members attended a meeting that was held last week about creating a community center in the Armory on Union and Bedford. Marty Markowitz said that plans are still on the table for the Bedford/Atlantic armory, but that there are existing services there that make it a harder situation. Tish James said that $14 million dollars had been allocated to the Bedford/Atlantic armory. That plan is on hold for now, and efforts with the Bedford/Union project will move for first. You can sign up for updates on the armory here, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
    • Board member Nina asked the community if there was anybody interested in being a representative for CHCA on the Bedford/Union armory project.
  • Community organizations:
    Board Member Sue gave an update on the clothing & toiletry drive CHCA did in December. The items were delivered to Kianga House and the Bedford Armory Assessment Center. CHCA wants to keep supporting these organizations throughout the year, and also collect toys & books for the Haitian Day Care Center on Bedford Ave. A resource list of non-profits and social services in the community has been posted to the CHCA website here.
  • Community outreach:
    Board member Julie asked for a volunteer to post updates from the CHCA blog about things like housing, health services, education, etc. to the bulletin board located at Franklin Ave and Eastern Parkway.
  • Elected officials:
    • District Leader Walter Mosley talked about the central Brooklyn voter registration drive, concentrating on ex-offenders, young people voting for the first time, displaced individuals who have moved from one community to another, and new residents. He offered voter registration forms at the meeting and let the community know that the New York State primary will probably happen on June 26th this year. He also talked about his initiative to cut down on theft of electronics by requiring that resellers ask for proof of ownership before reselling electronics.
    • Lee Church from State Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries‘ office gave an announcement on the state of the district address happening at Pratt on Thursday, January 26, at 6:30 PM. RSVP at 718-596-0100 or jeffriesh@assembly.state.ny.us.
    • A representative from the Crown Heights Mediation Center and Save Our Streets announced an arts festival happening in the spring. Artists 19 and younger can submit projects for cash prizes, the submission deadline is April 5th, 2012. For more information, contact Anthony at 718-773-6886 or mohena@crownheights.org.

CHCA Meeting Minutes: November 2011

The meeting of the Crow Hill Community Association was held on November 15, 2011, 7:30 PM at The Gospel Tabernacle Church, 725 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY.

  1. Introduction and mention of membership dues
  2. Bike Lane Proposal sent to CB8 Traffic & Transportation Committee:  We collected over 335 signatures from the community (300+ on paper petitions and 36 gathered via email) in support of this proposal.  We also submitted two renderings showing before & after views of the proposal from both a street level and a birds-eye perspective. Thank you to Manuel Avila & Danny Garwood for creating the renderings
  3. Susan: Halloween Parade update
  4. Julie: Offline community announcements
  5. Safe in This Place Project: Jessie, Jessica & Julia
  6. Susan: Local Community Resource Guide
  7. Collection for Kianga House
  8. Ask for signatures to be included in the residential parking permit

CHCA Meeting Minutes: October 2011

The meeting of the Crow Hill Community Association was held on October 18, 2011, 7:30 PM at The Gospel Tabernacle Church, 725 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY.

Opening Remarks: Eve Porter, President

Save Our Streets (S.O.S.) Crown Heights
Alan James from S.O.S. Crown Heights speaks on how they are addressing violence in our community.

  • They are a community-based effort to end gun violence in our neighborhood. S.O.S. works closely with local organizations, neighborhood churches and pastors, community residents and the individuals most likely to commit a shooting.
  • S.O.S. Crown Heights provides immediate intervention whenever a shooting occurs in the neighborhood, reaching out to the victim, friends, and family to ensure that a retaliatory shooting does not take place.
  • S.O.S. Crown Heights works closely with neighborhood leaders and businesses to promote a visible and public message against gun violence. The goal is to end the spread of violence by encouraging local voices to articulate that shooting is an unacceptable behavior.
  • They are having a march on Thursday, October 20, as part of their Week of Peace. CHCA will participate, meeting at the Community Garden at 5:15, and walking over as  a group to participate together.
  • On Friday, October 21st, at 6 PM, P.S. 289 (900 St. Marks Ave at Kingston) will host S.O.S. Crown Heights guests for a screening of The Interrupters, the critically acclaimed documentary about the Chicago CeaseFire project on which S.O.S. is based. More information.
  • The petition to add a bike lane to Franklin Ave that extends from Dean St to Eastern Parkway was circulated.
  • Caroline Samponaro, the Director of Bicycle Advocacy at Transportation Alternatives, talks about the work that her organization does to advocate for bicycling, walking and public transit in New York.
  • The bike share program is coming to New York, you can request a bike share station in our neighborhood.

77th Precinct
Eve Porter encouraged the community to attend the 77th Precinct meeting, held every second Monday of the month at 7:30 PM. The next meeting will be at PS 9, at St. Marks and Underhill Ave.

  • Burglaries of electronic devices are up in our precinct. There has also been a rash of tire slashing.
  • There is a street naming ceremony on October 29, 2011 at 11 AM at Utica Ave. & Bergen St. in honor of Moses P. Cobb, the first black police officer in New York City.
Council Member TIsh James
  • She has been speaking with the Occupy Wall Street group. Many residents of Crown Heights and Prospect Heights are involved in the movement.
  • Single space meters are in the process of being changed to muni-meters in the coming months.
  • Tish recommended Franklin Ave. as one of the station for the bike share program.
  • The community board has some concerns about the bike lane on Franklin Ave, but Tish is going to try to move them to being in support of the bike lane.
  • There is the possibility of a gym relocating to the Crow Hill area.
  • It’s important to unplug from your devices (phones, mp3 players, etc.) as you exit the subway so that you can be aware of your surroundings.
  • It’s important for our neighborhood to maintain the Impact Zone on Franklin Ave, as reductions are being made in the city police force.
  • PS 22 is at risk of being closed, or phased out, and replaced with a charter school. Tish would like to see a transitional model put in place before the school is closed.
  • The playground next to PS 316 is being renovated, and Tish would like to work with our community association on that project.
  • A community member requested that the tiles downstairs on the Franklin Ave. subway train be changed as part of the other renovations happening at that station. Also to add more large trash cans at the corner of Franklin Ave and Eastern Parkway. Tish said the trash cans wouldn’t be a problem and she would take care of it. She will work with Assembly Member Hakim Jeffries to see what is possible in the subway station.
Occupy Wall Street
Leo Goldman announced that there is going to be a General Assembly meeting Thursday, October 20 from 7 – 9 PM at 613 Franklin Ave to discuss what the issues are in this community so that it can be part of the movement.
Franklin Shuttle Project
Manuel gave an update on his project, which won the urban design content and will hopefully be presented to the MTA board in the coming months. The shuttle is going to be shut down next May – September to do track work, hopefully the project can move forward at that time.
Community Garden and Planting
  • Over the past 2 weekends daffodil bulbs were planted in our planters and tree pits along Franklin Ave.
  • Six contractor bags of garbage was also sollected from the sidewalks, gutters, and tree pits.
  • CHCA is asking business owners to be responsible for picking up trash in front of their properties.
Halloween Parade
  • Saturday, October 29, at 3 PM starting at the garden at Dean St between Franklin & Bedford, and go to the community garden on Franklin between Sterling and Park Pl.
  • CHCA is looking for musicians to take place in the parade.
  • A signup sheet was passed around for people interested in volunteering for the parade.
Theatre Community Projects
  • “Safe In This Place,” a Franklin Ave applied theater dialogue project, was presented and demonstrated.
Impact Zone Awareness
  • Nick Juravich talked about his initiative to pass out fliers in the community with information about about the Impact Zone.
  • Attendees were encouraged to sign up for the Community Outreach committee to be part of the project.
  • Located on Putnam between Grand and Downing St, the Green Hill Food Co-Op needs people to participate.

CHCA Meeting Minutes: September 2011

The meeting of the Crow Hill Community Association was held on September 20, 2011, 7:30 PM at The Gospel Tabernacle Church, 725 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY.

Labor Day Shootings

President Eve Porter opened the meeting with a moment of silence to honor the victims of the shootings that occurred on Park Place on Labor Day. She also gave an update on the funds raised for Denise Gay’s family. Denise Gay was the innocent bystander who was killed in the shootings.

Summer Activities

There was an update of the events that happened over the summer:

  1. Kids Day: Garnett Philips gave a history of the Kids Day event, gave a description of this year’s Kids Day, and talked about the hopes for expanding it to multiple blocks for 2012. She said that they are planning to start fundraising earlier this year to raise the money needed to expand the event.
  2. Community Garden: Kyle Levenick gave an update of garden activities, which included a BBQ, potluck, and new compost bins.
  3. Planters: Over the summer 20 planters were constructed, planted, and distributed to Franklin Avenue Merchant members.

Impact Zone

Over 400 signatures and letters have been collected to support the Impact Zone on Franklin Ave. We have not been given a definitive “yes” on keeping the Impact Zone, but the 77th precint has received an additional 20 officers to help with the east end of the precinct.

Community member Nick Juravich expressed interesting in creating and distributing a flier to residents that would outline what the Impact Zone is.

There have been burglary problems in the neighborhood, so residents should make sure they keep their windows and doors locked.

Bike Lane on Franklin Avenue

We are continuing to collect signatures for the petition to extend the bike lane down Franklin Avenue. The bike lane would slow down the cars on the avenue and improve the safety of our streets. There would be no reduced parking due to the addition of the bike lane.

The petition is available to sign at The Candy Rush and other stores on the avenue.

No Solicitation Signs

The “No Solicitation” signs are available for CHCA members for $1. If you have a card that got waterlogged, you can trade it in for a new one for free. We will be reprinting the cards in a way that will make them more durable. We also want to make cards for “pooper scooping” to encourage residents to clean up after their dogs on the street.

Fall Projects

Community members were encouraged to sign up to help with the following projects for the fall:

  1. Halloween: We are planning another kids Halloween parade that will end at the garden with some special events.
  2. Fall Planting: We will be filling our planters with evergreens and daffodil bults on Sunday, Oct. 2 and Saturday, Oct 16.
  3. Water For the Garden: We need to find a solution for getting a water supply to the community garden.

District Attorney’s Office

A representative from the District Attorney’s office spoke, encouraging the community to get in touch and learn more about the programs her office provides, including an alternative sentencing program which would be helping CHCA with the fall planting activities.

Kings County District Attorney’s Office
Jerry Schmetterer Director of Public Information
350 Jay St.
Brooklyn, New York, NY 11201
718.250.2000

Assembly District

Assembly Member Hakeem Jeffries spoke briefly to the community about how his office is working to improve public safety and to work with the precinct to challenge their “stop and first” tactics.

Open Forum

Several members of the community expressed an interesting in working to improve public safety in response to the Labor Day shootings. Various ideas were expressed, and the community members were encouraged to come up with project plans to present to the board to consider.

CHCA Meeting Minutes: March 2011

The theme of our March meeting was “Thinking Green” and a lot of information was made available to those present along with requests for community involvement. Below is a recap in case you mised the meeting or want to participate in any of the projects presented

Planter Box Clean Up & Garden Meet Up

Crow Hill Community Association has been chosen for this year’s Brooklyn Daffodil Project Award by.New Yorkers for Parks, which manages the Daffodil Project.They feel that the work our Go Green/Go Clean committee has done is a great reflection of the “rejuvenation” theme of the Daffodil Project. Our Stacey Sheffey will be honored at their Borough Honoree Benefit Breakfast in April.

To prepare, we want to spruce up our planter boxes and tree pits on Franklin Avenue. Please join us:

Saturday April 2 (rain date April 3) at 10 AM
in front of the garden (Franklin between Park and Sterling)
Please bring a hand shovel, garbage bag, gloves…

Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs

Gita Subramony, Energy $mart Communities Coordinator for the Pratt Center for Community Development and a CHCA resident, discussed NYSERDA’s energy efficiency incentive programs for businesses, homeowners, multifamily buildings and construction contractors. This information is available on their website along with material on renewable energy incentives/solar energy incentive programs

Participatory Urbanism: Crown Heights

The Crown Heights Participatory Urbanism project takes a landscape urbanism approach to rethink residual spaces created by transportation infrastructure towards a new public space network.

The project is founded on the idea of creating a common ground for residents, business owners, governmental entities and local community organizations for a more plural public spaces in the context of a diverse emergent community in the Crow Hill/Crown Heights neighborhood.

While space in Crow Hill is contested on a daily basis, this reclamation of a public corridor can serve to connect, not divide, neighbors and community members.

Objectives: 

The objectives of the proposal are to:

  1. Create awareness on the existence of these under-utilized spaces and their potential benefit to the community as a whole;
  2. Open a discussion within the community and between the community and governmental entities towards possible and viable programming;
  3. Explore funding strategies for public spaces in NYC;
  4. Present an urban design proposal to the community that reflects previous discussions.

Further Steps: 

Possible further steps for the project include the compilation of the entire process in a form of (low cost) manual or booklet. The booklet could have two objectives: it could be distributed to other community organizations and individuals interested in public space explaining the process step by step. The project could be also distributed via internet through the creation of a blog or web site. Finally the booklet can be sent to key government entities and the private sector that might be interested in funding the project further.

Please visit participatoryurbanism.blogspot.com to leave comments and ideas.

Help Create a Community Vision for the CHCA Community Garden

Jonas Goslow will be creating a website that reflects the community’s vision for the garden. He asks anyone who is interested to create a drawing, painting, photo, audio, poem, or simple paragraph describing “What you think a garden is for a community?

Or put another way, “What is your dream for our garden? How would it be used? How would it effect people and the community? What has it done for you?

He want responses from EVERYONE! it’s important to hear every voice we can – this is a community collage!

You can send ideas to: chca@crowhillcommunity.org

Bees

bees

Jessica McNamara, who keeps two beehives on the rooftop of her apartment building in Crow Hill, presented the concept of having a hive in the garden. This is her second year as a beekeeper.

Honey bees are super important for pollination – 80% of what we eat relies on pollination either directly (fruits, nuts) or somewhere down the food chain (think pasture-raised cows eating clover and alfalfa). And, they provide us with a delicious natural sugar that tastes sweet but also has many health benefits: honey can relieve allergies, heal wounds (thanks to its antibacterial/antimicrobial properties), and for people with diabetes, it takes less insulin to break down honey than regular sugar.

If you have outdoor flowers or a garden in the neighborhood, my bees may visit your plants to sip some nectar. I love to talk about bees, so if anyone has any questions, please contact me at: jessica.m.mcnamara@gmail.com

CHCA Meeting Minutes: January 2011

The meeting of the Crow Hill Community Association, Inc. was held on January 18, 2011, at LaunchPad, 721 Franklin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.

PRESIDENT’S OPENING 7:41 PM

President, Evangeline Porter wished everyone a Happy 2011 and introduced Crow Hill for those who were new. Ms Porter gave the NYPD Comstats,in most categories crime is up. Please keep doors and windows locked to deter burglars and ladies, keep your bags in front of you, there are a lot of young muggers,

Pawn Shop/Jewelry Store: we met with Councilmember James and at this moment we are going to take a “wait and see” attitude

Annual elections held

Voting for 7 Board positions:

President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Secretary, Assistant Treasurer, Project Manager

Ballots were passed out to all dues paying members with 8 names
When votes were counted there was a tie for the 7th position.
It was motioned that we add an 8th position to the Board
Motion seconded
Passed

The 2011 Board will be:

President: Evangeline Porter
Vice President: Stacey Sheffey
Secretary: Marcus Allison
Treasurer: Hodiah Davidson
Project Manager: Nina Meledandri
Assistant Secretary: Julie Whitaker
Assistant Treasurer: Melina Bernadine
Assistant Project Manager: Susan Boyle

Tony Fisher shared that realtors are starting to call the area Franklin Heights.

Miss Bernadine asked if anyone had any mail/post office complaints

It was brought up that people are sleeping in the Chase Bank lobby on Bedford & Eastern Pkwy. It is hard for Chase to do anything because they have accounts.

There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

CHCA Meeting Minutes: November 2010

The meeting of the Crow Hill Community Association, Inc. was held on November 16, 2010 at LaunchPad, 721 Franklin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.

PRESIDENT’S OPENING 7:30 PM

The meeting addressed credit opportunities in our community. Scheduled to speak were Danette Hyatt and Patricia Scott from Banco Popular and David Jerome and Elizabeth Shay from People’s Alliance Federal Credit Union.

Banco Popular
Committed to the community; partnering with Bed Stuy Campaign Against Hunger food drive.
Devised new programs for building credit: will give loans secured by bank deposit or secure credit card againsta savings account.
Doors open to all customers.
Offers home equity loans
Financial seminars for small businesses
Works with Axiom for those who don’t qualify

People’s Alliance Federal Credit Union
Over 70 years old, used to be Pan Am Credit Union
Is a not for profit organization, Board of Directors are volunteer, profits are dispersed back to participants.
Individual banking: $5 min. balance for savings, checking is free
Business checking: $25/mo, $100 minimum balance
Not for profit: no fee
Branch on Hanson Street: car sales, kids day, interest rate on auto loans now at 2.99%
Offers credit builder loans
Rates for loans dependent on debt to income ratios, etc.
Highest credit card rate is 10%

Laura James from Medgar Evers Summer Youth Program announces 2011 NYC Ladders for Leaders Application now on-line at DYCD, must register by 11/29.
April 1st deadline for Summer Yout Program Lottery.
Megar Evers hired over 360 youth last summer

Hakeem Jeffries representative announces Tenant Harrassment Community Forum on 11/22 at 6:s0: 55 Hanson Place

Velma Armstrong speaks to conaming of Franklin Avenue. CB8 only granted Franklin from Bergen to St. Marks to be conamed. City Council no longer names after countries. Panamanian community has been on Franklin Ave for 30 years.

Questions:.

What has been the hands on Panamanian contribution to Franklin Avenue, why do you feel Panama should be represented on Franklin?
Has been the central meeting place for Panamanians coming to NY, Panamnaians have had businesses here and a parade for 15 years.

Comment by Sarah Taylor: None of these businesses participated in CHCA or attended meetings

What names are being considered, since the street can’t be conamed for a country?
Still looking for suggestions

Area has a history of Guyanese, West Indians etc settling here, what about their contributions?
Panamanians come from all the Caribbean countries

Some of the resistence might be that Franklin Avenue is known for its diversity, conaming the strip is a major step, there has to be a recognizable contribution.

What are some examples of contributions to Franklin Avenue?
We work, shop & eat in the area.

It was asked that if the Panamanian Alliance wished support for this issue that they contact CHCA to be put on our meeting agenda at a time when they could respond to the question that had so far gone unanswered: what are the significant contributions that have been made to Franklin Avenue on the part of the Panamanian Community that would merit a conaming?

Reminded the community to be aware when they are on the streets of who is around you.

There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.

CHCA Meeting Minutes: October 2010

The meeting of the Crow Hill Community Association, Inc. was held on October 19, 2010 at LaunchPad, 721 Franklin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.

PRESIDENT’S OPENING 7:32 PM:

Ms. Porter introduced the Association for newcomers:
annual dues: $30/yr per household, $125/yr for merchants
and gave boundaries of Crow Hill: Eastern Pkwy to Atlantic on Franklin, Eastern Pkwy to St. Marks on Bedford and the streets in between
We will have election of Board members in February with nominations in January

With out wanting to be alarmist: be aware of crime in the neighborhood: there was an attempted rape at 769 Sterling Pl, keep your windows, especially those on fire escapes, locked

Nina reviewed the issue of the potential intake center at the Bedford/Atlantic Armory: Armory currently houses an assesment center, the City wants to add an intake center. The community is fighting against this. It is not good for the community or for the homeless. CBAAR (Coalition for Bedford Atlantic Armory Reform) has been in contact with the new commissioner of DHS: Seth Diamond. No immediate plans to open the center but when the center at Bellevue closes the city intends to move it here. Each of us must keep an eye on the shelter and watch for any changes in activity.

Eve: introduces the board members. (Evangeline Porter: President, Stacey Sheffey: Vice President & Treasurer, Nina Meledandri: Project Manager, Hodiah Davidson: Asst Treasurer).

Announcements:

  1. Importance of attending the upcoming Landmark meeting: Tue, October 26th 11:30 1 Center street, 9th floor to support the calendaring of 13 buildings on Park Pl.
  2. There will be an SOS peace march.starting at Utica & Eastern Parkway and on 11/18, a screening of a film about gun violence by SOS here at LaunchPad
  3. The Kids Halloween Parade and pumpkin painting will be Sat 10/30 starting at the garden on Dean between Franklin & Park at 3:30 and ending at our garden on Franklin between Sterling & Park and on to LaunchPad after
  4. Leaf collection for compost & mulch will take place at the Crow Hill Community Garden Sat 11/6 & Sun 11/14 from 11-2
  5. We are looking into getting a Big Belly Solar Powered Trash Can for Franklin, talking to Leticia James for funding. Please call 311 and complain when you see overflowing trash cans on Franklin.

Pawn Shop protest was successful! Last meeting people asked questions regarding the pawn shop. We reached out to Sen Adams, Assemblymembers Jeffries and Camara, Councilwoman James to support our protest, City Planning has informed us that the location is not zoned for Pawn Shops, we thank the 77th Precinct & Officer Pierre-Louis for their assistance with the protest

3 major concerns from the community were raised during the protest: lack of jobs, fair credit in the community and illegal landlord conduct. Crow Hill will address these issues starting with housing and we have invited our Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries to speak on this.

Guest Speaker: Assembly Member Hakeem Jeffries:
Without continued intensity from the community the pawn shop owner could be successful; his office understand the issues that come w/the pawn shop including supporting criminal activities One of the biggest challenges I face is trying to deal w/the lack of affordable housing, protecting rent stabilized or rent controlled tenants, regulating landlords seeking to take advantage of increase in rents,
The great diversity of our community is threatened by the housing market, if a lawful rent gets to 2,000 (set 15yrs ago as a luxury number) you can take that apartment out of rent stabilization and rent it for whatever amount you want. Ex: get someone out of a $900 apartment, and you can turn around and rent it for 2,500-3,000). The Assembly and Senate are working hard to fight this including legislation to raise the rate from 2000 to 49000 inorder to remove the incentive to force people out.
Statutory vacancy bonus: current rent stabilized tenant leaves for any reason, w/o any changes needed you can charge the next tenant 20% more. No limitation on the nature of the action or inaction by the landlord that may have caused the vacancy. With Councilmember James have launched an initiative to document tenant harassment. This is a problem that faces everyone. Should unify all of us. not a race issue, its about the color green. Its about the landlord… they are responsible. If anyone you knows is being harassed; experiencing a landlord who refuses payment of rent, does not do necessary repairs,, refuses to renew a lease, please have them fill out a complaint form the Attorney General has agreed to do an investigation. If found unlawful and illegal, the landlords will be brought to court/investigation.

Questions:

What is being done to increase ownership opportunities in the community?
Project Reclaim: designed to encourage banks to transform empty buildings, at least in part, from luxury market rates to affordable housing. In the past few years significantly “posh” buildings were popping up in the community and they were not built for us. They were built before the economy collapsed. The loans on these buildings need to be financially restructured on building by building, bank by bank basis.

If I live in a rent stabilized building and am being offered money to leave, do I have to take it?
No, you have to be given the opportunity to renew and $10k is not enough money to leave. People need to think about what a move will cost them, what a potential increase in rent will mean AND how much it is worth to the landlord for them to leave, then you can negotiate, start at $200,000

What about small business loans and how they are not lending to us?
These banks were on life support, we bailed them out and now they refuse to lend us the money Business out reach center helps small business owners to connect.

80/20 buildings that are offered by the state.
Every new building since 2008 that has been subsidized with tax dollars needs to have 20% affordable housing with 50% of those units residing in that Community Board. You can enter into a lottery a list of buildings can be gotten from Jeffries’ office

Comment on the behalf of the landlords:
N ot all landlords are evil and they are facing rising costs of energy, insurance, water, property tax

Garnett: merchants need to boycott the local banks from coming to our neighborhoods and refusing to lend us money. These banks are making a lot of money from our tax money!

Eve: 6 months ago Chase Bank said they will sit with the Merchants! Advised they will meet with us.There was a credit union a few years ago on Bedford & Fulton street but it closed because not enough people wanted to join. Eve will go to chase bank and speak. She will have them here at a next meeting.

Our November meeting will bring representatives from institutions that help provide employment. Crow Hill knows we have a problem with getting the word out to the community; help us w/flyer distribution. Will reach out to our Panamanian friends to see who they can bring to the community.

Public Safety
Institute v Landlords of 6 story or taller buildings can give permission to Police Department to patrol the public spaces of the building, use roof for serveillance, make arrests in hallways, etc. The police will have keys to the building

We advise everyone to attend the 77th Precinct Community Council meetings: 2nd Monday of every month at 7:30, location travels throughout the community you can call 718-735-0634 to find out where the meeting will be held

Introduced Renee Collymore who ran for 57th Assembly District, Female Leader

Guillermo Phillips spoke representing the Panamanian community. A proposal has been submitted to the three Community Boards involved to co-name a stretch of Franklin Avenue: Panama Way. When people were moving away from Franklin avenue they still stayed here. If a street can’t be named for a country, how can Korean Way be allowed but not Panama Way. Kevin Phillip asks: what has any of the Panamanians done for the Avenue?

There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

CHCA Meeting Minutes: September 2010

The meeting of the Crow Hill Community Association, Inc. was held on September 21, 2010 at LaunchPad, 721 Franklin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.

PRESIDENT’S OPENING 7:35 PM:

Ms Porter gave the opening prayer an thanked Mike for having us here at LaunchPad. She also thanked Garnett for all that she is doing for the merchants.

Ms. Porter asked the young people to stand and welcomed them for being here.

Garnett thanked the community for the Kids Day event and discussed the activities! $5000 was raised to cover the expenses and About Time is planning a bigger event for next year.

Sarah Taylor spoke, gave some history of CHCA and thanked the community

Leticia James spoke about the success of the mural project and how it brought together all different ethnic backgrounds to create a masterpiece!

Stacey spoke about the community garden, how it began by putting a lock on the gates to keep people from continuing to use it as a dumping ground and how it has turned into an oasis with flowers & veggies. The effort has brought new people to CHCA, she recognized some of the gardeners in the audience.

Nina spoke about our landmarking effort: 13 buildings on Park Place have been calendared for approval this fall.  She also recognized Alexandra Kelly’s contribution to the 25th Anniversary celebrations:  Listen To This: an oral history project now archived at LaunchPad.

Susan spoke about the success of the mural project and the enjoyment of all the kids who came out to paint. It was voiced that there could have been some artwork that reflected the history of the community.

Ms. Porter informed audience of the 77th Precinct Community Council meetings: they are held on the 2nd Monday of each month, the location rotates throughout the community. She emphasized the importance of calling 311, 911 and the precinct (Capt. Capocci) if you have public safety concerns. Ms. Porter spoke about the continued escalation of burglaries in the area: she encouraged residents to keep windows, especially on fire escapes, locked.

Garnett handed out cards to collect anonymous complaints about undesirable activities in the community. Ms. Porter spoke about crime and encouraged all to tell the truth about what they see and what they would like to see change. Anonymous complaints only.

Nina spoke about the status of the intake center at the Bedford Atlantic Armory; Marty Markowitz has committed money for a rec center and has promised the community will have a voice in its use.  CBAAR (Coalition for Bedford Atlantic Armory Reform) has formed to continue to address the situation.

Questions from the audience… 

What is going on with the vacant lot on Franklin & Eastern Pkwy?
Construction stopped because banks stopped lending. Large stores like Walmart, Walgreens, CVS have expressed interest but the community will not want something that will drive small businesses out.

Can anything be done about the Pawn Shop trying to come to the community?

It will be brought to CB8’s attention

Habitat for Humanity presented information on affordable home possibilities that they are developing affordable housing in the Bronx & Bed Stuy: http://www.habitatnyc.org/own_apply.html

Panamanian Day Parade: A member from the Panamanian community announced the upcomin parade on 10/9 and invited the community to attend, There was mention of the co-naming of Franklin Avenue. Ms. Porter stated that street naming is for individuals not for countries but that the Association has been opposed to co-naming Franklin Avenue.

Nina ran down the 4 committees which interested community members can volunteer for:

  1. merchant/economic development/fund raising
  2. general projects & outreach
  3. go green go clean
  4. public safety

Susan asks for interested people to help with a kids Halloween celebration for the children.

There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.