Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Reporting Back: Crow Hill Community Association Meeting

Lots of great things to report from last night's Crow Hill Community Association Meeting:


- The Historic Properties Fund of the New York Landmarks Conservancy has tagged Crow Hill as an historic district, making property owners in the area eligible for below-market loans to improve their buildings and preserve the historic character of the community.

- CHCA is partnering with the Crown Heights Revitalization Movement (whose founder got a nice write-up in the NYTimes a few weeks ago) to create the Coalition for Bedford-Atlantic Armory Reform, whose specific mission is getting DHS to build a community recreation center in the Armory without bringing Manhattan's intake center to the building. They have the support of several local pols, including Tish James and Hakeem Jeffries, and they hope to have a promise in writing from the new DHS Commissioner soon.

- Applications are now open for the NYC Summer Youth Employment Program. The program offers work experiences to NYC residents ages 14-24. The deadline is May 21, 2010.

Upcoming Events:

- If their outreach to the owner is successful, CHCA members will engage in a full-scale cleanup of the vacant lot on the west side of Franklin between Sterling and Park on the weekend of May 15th.

- The Crown Heights Oral History Project (check them out if you haven't already) will join the CHCA in celebrating their 25th Anniversary in early June (exact date forthcoming) at LaunchPad, where local residents will share some of their stories and recorded selections of the interviews will be available for purchase. This will be a night you don't want to miss!

- About Time Boutique is leading the team that will present Crow Hill's Kid's Day on Saturday, July 24th. For this year's event, they have secured the closure of Franklin between Park and Sterling, and they hope to draw close to 1,000 children from the area with all sorts of activities. They'll need donations (more information will be available at LaunchPad) to rent equipment and pay entertainers, and they're also looking for any performers who'd like to participate!

Special Guest: Crown Heights Community Mediation Center

If you don't know about these guys, they are doing GREAT work in Crown Heights. Their representative (a reverend who's name I shamefully forgot to write down) laid out a number of fantastic initiatives that they are leading in the neighborhood, including:

- Citizenship Drives: The next one is April 29th from 4-8pm. Lawyers will be on hand to take residents through the necessary paperwork on a pro-bono basis.

- Leadership Programs for young men and women (including their Young Entrepreneurship Program).

- SOS (Save Our Streets) Crown Heights: This last program is particularly pertinent in light of the rooftop shooting of a few weeks ago. Based on CEASEFire, the award-winning violence prevention program out of Chicago that Obama has cited as a model, SOS Crown Heights sends prior offenders out into the community to build relationships with those most likely to commit gun violence - gang leaders, drug dealers, and other young (mostly) men at the margins. Their motto "Don't let a 6x9 or 6 feet under be your only options. Don't shoot." encapsulates their mission, which is to encourage these individuals to think twice before pulling the trigger, and ultimately, to turn their guns in. Unconnected with the NYPD (as they must be in order to build trust, the Reverend explained), these former offenders also make a point of being present on the street during the most dangerous times of day (between 3pm and midnight) and of occupying space on corners where shoot-outs are likely, based on what they've heard through the grapevine. CEASEFire has proven very successful in Chicago--let's hope these folks do the same for Crown Heights.


  1. Thanks so much for the post. The name of the representative from Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, is Pastor Ken Bogan who is also the pastor at Greater Restoration Baptist Church.

  2. Thanks for posting this. My son (15 y.o.) usually spends summers with his g-parents in California but has decided to stay here this year. I told him if he was going to stay he had find a job or volunteer work (not going have him sit around watching TV all day!!). He's now planning to send an application to NYC Summer Youth Employment Program.

    By the way, we just moved to Crown Heights 2 months ago and so far love it. Thanks for doing this blog.

  3. You are the GREATEST!!! We love Crown Heights and thrilled to have you write such wonderful posts! We're on blogger as well. Will be communicating and posting this link on About Time Boutiques FB Page! Keep up the good work... and we're holding you to the promise to apart of the Annual Kids Day Event! We Love Franklin Avenue!

  4. What is the latest news on the Crown Heights Armory? Is it currently a homeless/intake center or rec center, or both? I am considering moving to an apt. that is located across the street from the armory, but now hesitant after reading about the homeless shelter situation.