Environmental Justice Town Hall

NYC Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez invited local representatives of NYC Parks and NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) to her third town hall this year. Photo credit:   Cheryl Kamen

On March 6, NYC Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez held a town hall that focused on environmental justice.  This was the third in a series of town halls that Gutiérrez has hosted since the beginning of the year to give the community an opportunity to voice their concerns. 

Gutiérrez held her first town hall in Bushwick on the topics of sanitation, environment, and safety in January.  The second town hall, in February, was held in Ridgewood and small business and culture were discussed.

WillIam Vega, a member Friends of Cooper Park, Greenpoint Renaissance Enterprise Corp. (GREC), and Brooklyn Community Board 1, speaks out about the garbage problem he’s seen in and around Cooper Park. Photo credit: Michael Rochford

At her third town hall, Gutiérrez invited a panel of representatives from NYC Parks and NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY).  Community members filled Swinging Sixties Older Adult Center’s (211 Ainslie Street) dining room where the event was held.

Among the topics the many who attended addressed were: sanitation issues, improvements to parks, and updates on promised improvements.

Debra Benders, president of Cooper Park Resident Council and member of GREC and St Nicks Alliance, asked about the status of playground equipment on grounds of NYCHA Cooper Park Houses. Photo credit: Michael Rochford

WillIam Vega, a member Friends of Cooper Park, Greenpoint Renaissance Enterprise Corp. (GREC), and Brooklyn Community Board 1 spoke about an overabundance of trash in and around Cooper Park. He mentioned seeing used hypodermic needles in the park and on sidewalks was a common occurrence.  Vega has organized neighborhood cleanup events to address the trash problem.  The panel stated an additional cleaning crew would be added and would soon start work on renovations to Cooper Park’s comfort station.

Maggie Lee of Sharon Street had questions. Parks officials answers that Cooper Park’s oval would reopen this summer and improvements for the landscaping and dog run would be looked into. Photo credit: Michael Rochford

As president of Cooper Park Houses Resident Council, Debra Benders asked for the status on promised playground equipment for the development.  Parks responded the work would get done.  In addition, she thanked Gutiérrez for supporting GREC efforts to address gun violence and widespread substance abuse.

An increase in the rat population was brought up Luz Rosero, president of United Neighbors Organization (UNO), the council member responded she would have NYC Health look into the matter.

Luz Rosero, president of United Neighbors Organization (UNO), addressed rat problems in graphic detail.  Photo credit: Michael Rochford

Justine Rosenthal raised the issue of planters NYC Transport have placed in Safety Zones on Boriquen Plaza and Grand Street. “They are a mess and not one cares for them,” she stated. The council member promised to report this to the DOT.

Justine Rosenthal mentioned the neglected planters in Borinquen Plaza and Grand Street safety zones that were placed by NYC Department of Transportation (DOT). Photo credit: Michael Rochford

The MTA’s construction on Metropolitan Avenue and Lorimer Street, which has caused quality of life issues for residents and decline in revenue for businesses was addressed by Lisa Summa.  She cited traffic chaos and an increase of trash and debris are some of the recurring problems.

Lisa Summa raised ongoing concerns about the MTA’s construction at Metropolitan Avenue and Lorimer Street. Photo credit: Michael Rochford

“It was great to wrap up my Town Hall series in the center of East Williamsburg at Swinging Sixties with such a large and engaged crowd,” said NYC Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez.  “My team is working through the concerns that we heard from constituents: we were able to immediately take action to address the issues from MTA’s construction at the Metropolitan / Lorimer subway station and DSNY has done clean ups on streets that were flagged at the meeting, like the sidewalk extensions on Borinquen.”

Author: The Greenline

Your monthly source for North Brooklyn community news covering Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick. Currently 13,000 copies are distributed throughout the community free of charge. Articles published with The Greenline byline includes content cited directly from press releases or published statements and/or is the work of a combination of vetted authors or sources.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s