Thursday, March 24, 2011

Community Planning Partner Survey #2

Our Community Planning Partners, Karrie Scarboro and Randy Millard along with Jacqueline Kennedy have created Community Planning Partner Survey #2. Our Community Planning Partners are in Phase II of their Community Planning Process for the Brownsville Partnership. Phase II entails that our Community Planning Partners will engage the community in a discussion on more specific views. The Brownsville residents will be asked what parks, buildings, streets and commercial areas they like and dislike, and why.

Here are the questions:
  1. Where are areas in the community that are considered unsafe and undesirable?
  2. Name locations in the community that are very important to the community but are underutilized and poorly maintained.
  3. What do you like/dislike about the local shopping/commercial areas in Brownsville? (i.e. Pitkin Ave, Belmont Ave., Rockaway Ave and Livonia Ave)
  4. What are some intersections and streets that can be enhanced or better guarded for pedestrians and children? And How? (i.e. Speed bumps, bike lanes)
  5. What parks in Brownsville do you think need the most work?
  6. How can we put usage to vacant spaces and abandoned structures in Brownsville?
You can contact Karrie Scarboro via phone (347) 654-0519 (Cell) or E-mail or Randy Millard via phone (347) 314-0306 or E-mail


Monday, March 21, 2011

New Book: School Resegregation Is Detrimental To Black Students

Another interesting article from

Nationwide (March 14, 2011) -- A new book, Schooling Poor Minority Children: New Segregation in the Post-Brown Era, authored by Martha R. Bireda, Ph.D., chronicles the process of desegregation to a return to post-Brown resegregated schools. The author describes this "new" segregation as a "redesign of pre-Brown segregation" and details the devastating impact upon poor minority students.

The return to segregated neighborhood schools, most often populated by poor black and brown students, unequally funded, and labeled "low performing" or "failing" should be taken very by seriously by the black community. The "new" segregation that has evolved in the post-Brown era is even more insidious than that of pre-Brown segregation. The deeply rooted problems that plagued pre-Brown segregated schools persist; while a new set of problems inherent in the "new" segregation have emerged. The "new" post-Brown segregation is creating a class of chronically undereducated students who will be left with only underclass options.

The author examines two crucial school-related factors characteristic of post-Brown segregated, low performing schools serving predominately poor minority populations: first, a school culture that is characterized by low expectations for students and the lack of a collective responsibility for student learning; and secondly, a stigmatizing school climate that focuses on control of students rather than creating rigorous and challenging learning environments. The combination of these factors results in the failure of these students to develop an academic identity, a lack of achievement motivation, the development of low self-expectations, disengagement from the learning process, academic failure, and in far too many instances non-completion.

Reboundsville: New home construction gives Brooklyn's Brownsville a facelift

Check out this article written by Lynne Miller of NY Daily News as she explains and explores the new home construction in our Brownsville Community. The photos are courtesy of Jeff Bachner. To read the article on the NY Daily News website, here is the link Reboundsville: New home construction gives Brooklyn's Brownsville a facelift

Walk around gritty Brownsville, in northeastern Brooklyn, and you see new apartment buildings and other multifamily homes mixed in with older row houses, including some that are nearly 100 years old. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) helped cause this mini-building boom. Since 2003, HPD, working with developers, has financed the construction or rehabilitation of 3,871 units of affordable housing.

Under Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan, more than 110,000 affordable housing units, financed by HPD, have pumped new life into city neighborhoods, including more than 27,000 in Brooklyn.
“You could call us an urban renewal agency,” says Jack Hammer, director of Brooklyn planning for the HPD.

One of the HPD’s newest projects, the $15.2 million River Rock development on Riverdale Ave. in Brownsville, features 54 rental apartments for low-income families, with 11 apartments for formerly homeless people. On the ground floor, 12,000 square feet have been set aside for retail with space for a local agency that provides social services to residents. On the second floor, there’s a laundry, a community room and terrace. There’s also underground parking.

Fillmore’s Lisa James inside a new two-family home on Tapscott St. (Jeff Bachner)