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June 16, 2007 / Park Slope / Perspective / PS … I Love You

Why I’m staying on my local CB

The Brooklyn Paper
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As a Community Board 6 member, I have had some ups and downs in the past few weeks after Borough President Markowitz declined to re-appoint several long-serving members. But in the end, I won’t resign in protest, as my colleague, Joe Porcelli, did this week.

Yes, I was saddened by the fact that some of the members with whom I worked, whom I respected and admired for all the time and effort they put into the board, were suddenly gone.

But I was also feeling that change does happen and is inevitable, and I started to look forward to meeting and working with the new members. I have always been a “glass is half full” kind of a gal.

I just feel sure that the board will regroup and move forward — because that is what we have to do.

Community Board 6 is not any one person, or any group of people. It is a body of many diverse voices. And I believe that it will remain that way.

For those of you who have not been to a CB6 meeting, I urge you to come and watch. Some months it is slow, with routine matters like whether to allow someone in the Park Slope historic district to build a new deck or whether to approve a proposed traffic hump on a side street.

Other months, it is raucous and exciting, with controversy, differing opinions and thoughtful, eloquent arguments. Those are the meetings I like because that’s when I really have to think about the community instead of just what I want. Even if I vote against the majority, I still feel really good about being on the board and having a voice — and in a town like this, having a voice (or feeling you have one) is a rare thing.

Lacking that voice is what ends up making people feel out of touch with their neighborhoods. They watch changes come (like the building boom along Fourth Avenue) and wonder how they all happened, who allowed it to happen, and why it can’t be stopped.

I have found that being on the community board has helped me to understand the process of change. Sure, we’re only advisory, but sometimes our votes have an effect (like when the Department of Transportation bailed on its one-way Seventh Avenue proposal). And, yes, sometimes it’s frustrating, but other times it is illuminating and even, at times, empowering.

We may lose more members who resign in protest of the recent non-reappointments, but I will not be among them. I just got assigned to chair the Parks Committee — and I have too much that I want to get done to quit now.

The Kitchen Sink

Well, we certainly know where Councilman Bill DeBlasio’s presidential loyalties lie: in bed with Hillary. The former Clinton campaign staffer hung out with other Clintonistas at a “drinks and dialogue” session at the Gate on Wednesday night. Could the term-limited councilman be thinking about more worldly options? “Just want to help the campaign meet up with young people,” DeBlasio told us. …

Finally, there’s life at the old Snooky’s space on Seventh Avenue. A new sign is up and the restaurant will be called Elementi. …

In case you needed more evidence that the South Slope is better than the north: a large black coffee at the Tea Lounge on Union Street is now $2.20, while it remains $2 on at the 10th Street location.

Updated 4:29 pm, July 9, 2018
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