Welcome to The Sixth Sense - the monthly newsletter of Brooklyn Community Board 6, serving the neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens/South Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Columbia Street Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope and Red Hook.
The question of how best to ensure that a Community Board is representative of its district
recently featured in The New York Times
has been around as long as the Community Boards themselves. Arguably, the most innovative approaches to ensuring diversity on our City's Community Boards have been coming out of Manhattan, beginning with
appointment process reforms put in place by former Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer
that continue to evolve further under now Borough President Gale Brewer. It began with an honest, transparent accounting of the demographics reflected on the boards, followed by a concerted effort to strike a balance and articulate representational goals.
City Council Member Ritchie Torres has
recently introduced legislation
that would shine a bright light on the composition of the City's Community Boards. It would require the City to publish and regularly maintain a portal on their website showing demographic and other personal data that describes the City's 2,950 board members up against a backdrop of other local socioeconomic indicators. It is a well-intended bill. It will, however, force some difficult conversations onto our City's elected officials. Not everyone will feel comfortable going there.
A quick and dirty analysis of the composition of Brooklyn CB6 reveals the following:
Going strictly by the numbers, one could conclude that Park Slope is underrepresented on Brooklyn CB6. The question of equity is not unreasonable based solely on superficial data. Is it fair that other neighborhoods with considerably more severe challenges - for example, neighborhoods like Gowanus and Red Hook who face a constellation of socioeconomic, environmental and planning obstacles - should not have additional representation to give some added weight in conversations involving land use, budget and other vital decisions that shape the future of these communities?
The question of how best to ensure that a Community Board is representative of its district goes well past a superficial data-driven analysis. There are qualitative factors, even subjective ones, which must be considered. Council Member Torres' bill is sound in theory. With some tweaking it could be a giant step toward pushing this conversation into the sunlight. Some elected officials may fear an open dialogue that would flow from the sharing of this information publicly. They may have legitimate reasons why they appoint who they do to the Community Boards which may also defy numerical analysis. Or maybe they don't. The public has no way of knowing.
In the end, our elected officials must continue to have the freedom to appoint board members at their discretion. Knowing what the Community Board membership numerical targets are as would be reported out under this law will foster a more public conversation about whether fairness, equity or politics-as-usual are the primary drivers behind appointment decisions.
Stay involved. Speak your truth. Be inspired. It's our community!
Enjoy our newsletter, and please let us know what you would like to see in future editions.
P.S. If you like what you see here, please use the "Forward email" link at the bottom of the page to pass this email along to a friend or two. There are over 104,000 residents and thousands of businesses in our district. We'd love it if they would all sign up!
Open Nominations for Youth Awards
Do you know any exceptional young people doing extraordinary things in our community? We want to hear from you! Each year Brooklyn CB6 honors youth who have made a substantial contribution toward improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods through direct action or by serving as a positive role model for others.
We also recognize outstanding adults who work with youth on a voluntary basis, acting as a positive role model and keeping our youth engaged in constructive activities. Eligible adult candidates can be nominated for the Brooklyn CB6 Robert Acito Award for Youth Involvement, named after our former District Manager who served from 1980-1993.
Applications are available for our
Youth Acknowledgement Award
Robert Acito Award for Youth Involvement
. They can be picked up from the district office during regular business hours, or downloaded from the CB6 website. The Youth Acknowledgement and Robert Acito Awards will be presented at the beginning of the May general meeting.
Nominations must be postmarked by April 1, 2016.
Join the Community Board!
Now is the time of year to apply for community board membership. Community boards are not self-appointing bodies. Our Board Members are all appointed by the Borough President, half of them at the recommendation of a local City Council Member. They serve voluntary, 2-year staggered terms.
Application deadline is February 15, 2015.
Solarize BrooklynCB6 update
To date, 22 contracts have been signed representing 120kW. We've blasted through our goal of 100kW and we're not even close to being done. And how does that translate to savings for our property owners? Non-program participants pay an average rate of $7.64/W; Solarize BrooklynCB6 participants pay an average rate of $5.67/W, representing a further savings of 25% on energy costs just by participating.
Due to the higher than anticipated response, there are almost 100 proposals that are still in the pipeline. We'll let you know how many contracts are signed and what the final tallies are in a future newsletter.
Bulk Trash Items Pick Up
You may have noticed that the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) has not been regularly picking up bulk items. This is due to a temporary capacity problem related to the expansion of organic waste collections in our district. DSNY has implemented a temporary system for collecting bulk trash items.
For the time being, DSNY is picking up bulk on an "as-needed" basis. To have your bulk item(s) collected, place your item at the curb then call the DSNY
BK6 Sanitation Garage at (718) 768-3367 (before 2pm to speak to a human). They will add your location to their list for collection. Bulk pick-ups are taking place on
Fridays and Saturdays.
You should not get a Notice of Violation for having bulk items in front of your property. If you do get a ticket, call Assistant District Manager Ty Beatty at the Brooklyn CB6 District Office at (718) 643-3027, x204.
DSNY is currently working on a long-term solution to restore regular bulk collections and appreciates your patience.
Things to do in the District
hittin' the slopes in park slope
Thursday February 4, 6pm-8pm
The Carroll Gardens Association presents Entrepreneur Workshop:
Tax Tips for the Self-Employed.
This free seminar is designed to inform "start up" and established freelancers, entrepreneurs and independent contractors about their tax requirements and record keeping responsibilities. Attendees will learn about Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business (Sole Proprietorship), deductible business expenses, self-employment tax and other tax topics.
Friday, February 5th, 7pm - 9pm
Court Tree Collective presents an art opening reception
for the show Ki-net-ic. Ki-net-ic aims to display the continuation and current state of the kinetic art movement. From Sui Park's Mostly Cloudy mobiles to Mike Sorgatz fast paced New York landscapes. Anthony Tino's glitch series and Ben Garthus's moving tile prints will all be represented. A celebration of the collective consciousness in one space in one moment of time. The exhibit runs until March 18th. Free. Location: 371 Court Street, 2nd Floor.
Friday, February 5, 9am-3pm
The Division of Dental Medicine at New York Methodist Hospital and the American Dental Association will sponsor
Give Kids A Smile Day!
Children, ages one to 16, are invited to attend and receive free dental screenings, including sealant placement, cleanings, x-rays and more, if applicable. Educational information will also be offered. The event will take place in the offices of the Hospital's Division of Dental Medicine, located on the first floor of the Kirkwood Pavilion, 506 Sixth Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn. Walk-ins are welcome; no appointment is necessary. For more information please call 718.780.5412.
Saturday February 6, 10am - 3pm
11th Annual Seed Celebration and Swap
at the Old Stone House & Washington Park. This annual event brings together gardeners of all stripes to engage in the traditional activity of trading seeds. Demonstrations on starting seed and transplanting seedlings, sprouting greens, seed cleaning, making seed balls, and how to make compost will be running at tables throughout this event. Plenty of gardeners will be available to answer your garden questions.This event is suitable for both children and adults.Location: The Old Stone House, 336 Third Street.
Wednesday, February 10,6-8pm
The Brooklyn Borough President presents Property Value Workshop at Borough Hall in the Community room at 209 Joralemon Street. Consult with the Department of Finance or Tax Commission to ask questions about your property's market and assessed values. To rsvp call (718) 802-3700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, February 11, 7:30pm
Concert at Pioneer Works.
Laws of Nature will feature a world premiere by visionary Icelandic-Canadian composer Fjóla Evans, a trance-inducing multimedia work by Australian composer Kate Moore, a brooding and powerful piece by Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir, and a new arrangement of music from legendary harpist and songwriter Joanna Newsom's sprawling and transcendent second album, Ys. Suggested donation $10
Thursday, February 11, 7pm
The Flapper Revolution: An Illustrated Lecture
With Mel Gordon, Author of "Voluptuous Panic" The story and meaning of the 1920's Flapper keeps changing. Was the Jazz-Age phenomenon a product of a changing labor market or a reaction against the Puritanical suffragette leaders in league with anti-immigrant and prohibitionist Protestant elite? Was flapperism the harbinger of other sexual revolutions and why did it disappear in the weeks before the Wall Street Crash? Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum. Cost: $8
Sunday, February 14, doors: 7pm, show: 8pm
The cult-favorite live comedy series,
The Rejection Show
is back with it's "Super Bowl" of Rejection Shows, celebrating Valentine's Day with an evening of its best breakup, heartbreak, and love related performances/stories from shows past, present, and future --blending into an evening of love songs, live music, and a party. If you're single, feeling alone, rejected, don't have a date or simply don't like traditional Valentine's Day routines then Littlefield is the place to be on Valentine's Day 2016! Cost: $10-$12
Friends of Brooklyn Community Board 6, Inc.
was established in 2003 to support the work of Brooklyn Community Board 6 in improving the quality of life in the district. Friends seeks to provide planning, advocacy, research and administrative resources to supplement the limited capacities and budget of the Community Board, thus enabling it to properly carry out its City Charter mandated tasks of evaluating the needs of the district and advocating on behalf of its communities.
Friends of Brooklyn Community Board 6, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (Federal EIN 04-3780020).
General Board Meeting
photo by Bryan Bruchman
6:30pm, February 10
P.S. 32 Auditorium
317 Hoyt Street
(btw Union/Prez Streets)
Brooklyn, NY 11231
All posted meetings are open to the public; however, participation may be limited.
Who's Who at #BKcb6
Gary G. Reilly,
First Vice Chairperson
Second Vice Chairperson
● Jerry Armer,
● Ariel Krasnow,
● Jerry Armer,
Finance/Personnel & Law
● Richard Bashner,
● Paige Bellenbaum,
● Peter Fleming,
Land Use; Elections
● Glenn Kelly,
● Ariel Krasnow,
● Gary G. Reilly,
● Robert Levine,
● Rick Luftglass,
Budget; Economic Development
● Eric McClure,
● Thomas Miskel,
● Mike Racioppo,
Permits & Licenses
● Mark C. Shames,
● Matthew Silverman,
● Suzanne Turet,
● Robert Underwood,
Assistant District Manager
Special Projects Manager
● Craig Hammerman,
● Sarah N. Phillips,
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden wants to understand the impacts of the Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest and how to make it better. If your block has ever participated in the contest, please consider completing
BBG's 10-minute survey
. Questions? Call (718) 623-7209 or email
DSNY is recruiting temporary, per diem snow laborers. These workers are called on after heavy snowfalls to remove snow and ice Citywide from areas like bus stops, crosswalks and fire hydrants. Pay starts at $13.50 per hour and increases to $20.25 per hour after the first 40 hours worked in a week. To be eligible, applicants must be: At least 18 years old. Eligible to work in the United States.Able to perform heavy physical labor. More info here.
And in sharp contrast, Parks is looking to hire lifeguards for their 2016 swim season!
Parks' beaches open each Memorial Day weekend and are open through Sunday, September 13. Pools are open from late June through Labor Day. Lifeguards work 48 hours each week and first-year lifeguards will earn a minimum of $13.57 an hour, for a weekly salary of over $650.00.
Think you're whistle worthy? Find out how to join.
GOOD & WELFARE
Happy Birthday wishes go out to former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Borough President Marty Markowitz, both of whom are Valentine's Day babies!
FROM THE CB6 AREA
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