Kids and Seniors Keep Eyes on the Prize!

The Goal Is to Buy 211 Ainslie Street

211 Ainslie SW 01a web
“TheSwinging 60’s Senior Center and Small World Day Care Center are the backbone of the community. … .They give human face to the programs that our City and State government promote.” Said Assemblyman Joe Lentol

The accent is on the positive at 211 Ainslie Street, home of Small World Day Care and the Swinging Sixities Senior Center.  Governor Cuomo did something that rhymes with schmeeto to the Eminent Domain legislation proposed by State Senator Dilan and Assemblyman Lentol .  As things go, the govenor’s ‘No’ made headlines.  However, the primary plan to secure 211 Ainslie Street’s future has always been to purchase the building.

After the news came out, Council Member Reynoso popped by the senior and child care center to deliver some reassurance, “It’s very import you get information that is accurate and true.  We all know our #1 priority, our #1 plan, our #1 action is to buy this building.  [It] is to win a court case and make sure we own the building.  It isn’t through eminent domain. That plan was our Plan D or C.”

He pointed out that for the eminent domain legislation to pass both the Assembly and the State Senate was an amazing victory, and was due to the efforts of Assemblyman Joe Lentol and State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan.

“Acquiring 211 Ainslie Street through eminent domain was one option on the table to save Small World Day Care and the Swinging Sixties Senior Center. Although the legislation was vetoed, having gotten that far in the legislative process underscores the importance of the facility, as well as the community’s intent to ultimately own 211 Ainslie Street. One way or another, it’s going to happen,” said Senator Dilan.

Assemblyman Joe Lentol is still hopeful and maintains that, “While the Governor’s veto was unfortunate. We are not giving up. We will be reintroducing legislation this upcoming session to meet the Governor’s demands. The fight is never over for 211 Ainslie Street. The Swinging 60’s Senior Center and Small World Day Care Center are the backbone of the community. But, they represent even more than that. They give human face to the programs that our City and State government promote. They are not hip technology projects or sleek film shoots; they are the struggling working residents who need a helping hand to stay afloat in these financially challenging times. They are essential to the fabric of the neighborhood that makes Williamsburg so special. I applaud my colleagues in the legislature for supporting Senator Dilan and I’s mission. We will prevail.”

CM Reynoso reminded the Swinging Sixties Seniors, “The Borough President has put in $1M, I have put in $3M, and the Mayor has put in $1.7M because we are all on the same page that we are going to purchase this building.  That is the only action that is real.  Don’t worry we haven’t lost any ground. We’re going to purchase this building. We’re doing an amazing job in court. The landlord is siding with us; he likes what is happening. We have the money in place so when it does come up to purchase we’ll be able to get it right on the spot.”

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams chimed in, “I have been crystal clear, since day one of my administration, that I will not accept any settlement of the contested ownership at 211 Ainslie Street that does not ensure that critical community space for Williamsburg’s young and young at heart is protected and preserved. The robust grassroots activism that this case has fostered has been truly heartening, and it is a key reason, along with the hard work of the City and local leaders, why the road to resolution for Small World Day Care and Swinging Sixties Senior Center is in clear sight.”

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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