The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A New Low

The Q's heart is heavy today. It's time for soul-searching I guess. As much as I'm certain the neighborhood needs a long-overdue opportunity to strategically plan for the future, I don't have the stomach for the latest batch of invective. I'll let you read the latest outburst to MTOPP's list; sometimes it's just best to let Ms. Boyd say it in her own words. This one put me in a reflective state, particularly since it's readily clear she ain't going anywhere, and the rhetoric is only becoming more incendiary. Imagine if we DID pass the motion to start the planning process? What then? One can only imagine that every meeting, every proposal, every aspect of the study will have to contend with this behavior.

She continues to make what should be a conversation about how to build and protect affordable housing and limit the negative effects of a wildfire of new development into a heated fight over race, gender, class, wealth and even religion. Following on the heels of painting herself as a Gentrification Freedom Fighter (GFF), now there's this diatribe, clearly meant to elicit more anger at everyone on the other side of her argument. Given the number of people of color, religious Jews and yes even respectful white men (and women) involved in the process, this stuff is so unnecessarily incendiary. The suggestion is...oh just read it. You'll see where she's going, and why I'm nearly certain it will be impossible to hold frank and fruitful discussions.

Black Women:  BE SEEN but NOT HEARD!

At the Police Precinct meeting with the community,
 on April 16, 2015, a Black woman stood up
and described an incident that occurred
At the last CB9 ULURP meeting,
where there were [White] board members
calling [Black] women residents “Cunts” and “Fuck You”.

In response Stuart Balberg, [White male],
Precinct Board member
stood up and admonished this woman,
because he felt that stating the curse words
or even describing them with an abbreviated letter
 such as the “F”, was offensive
and goes against the bible.

Now he wasn’t upset about this incident;
that women were being verbally abused by
CB9 board members
 just the reporting of it!

How dare he admonish this woman for describing
abusive behavior being done
towards the black women in this community! 
That is why there is the Precinct meeting
with the community so that we can voice our concerns
and let the Police know what is transpiring. 

But this isn’t the first time Black women in public
have been admonished for speaking their mind,
stating facts or even asking questions.

 At the last CB9 meeting, March 24, 2015. 
Twice during the meeting
 Rabbi Goldstein, CB9 member,
requested that events be circumvented
and postponed because they would either occur
during the Jewish Saturday observance or
the 2 week long Jewish Holiday

In the latter case, a ULURP meeting was trying to be scheduled,
because an immediate response was required by this committee
and the 2 week long holiday, might prevent it from happening.

As a result of this a Black Woman board member stood up
and asked how many Jewish people were on the ULURP committee,
because if the ULURP committee can still have a quorum
(enough members present to have a legal vote)
it should still meet.  The answer was 1.

In response, however, Rabbi Goldstein, CB9 member stood up
and stated that this question was anti-Semitic
and she shouldn’t be asking this type of question etc…

Again it shows that Black women are not allowed to ask questions,
to report issues and to state offensive behaviors being displayed
 because they are seen as anti-Semitic or violating the bible.

Our Community is made up of many diverse ethnic groups,
cultures and religious beliefs,
being respectful is the understanding that everyone has the right
to ask questions and to present facts.
The Board members of these community organizations need to understand
It is their job to hear and not to curtail the voices of the community!

The Black women of this community have a right to stand up
and speak, to voice their opinions, to state the facts
 (no matter how offensive it might be to others),
to ask questions, without White male board members
on these various community organizations admonishing them.
These are the behaviors that are racist and sexist!
We will not be silenced!

We will continue to call out behaviors
That are abusive, divisive, separatist, and racist

Our voices will not be silenced!
We will be SEEN and HEARD!
(718) 703-3086

White male Board members calling Black women "cunts?" Believe me, I would have remembered THAT. The word doesn't even cross my lips - I learned that lesson a long, long time ago - ask my wife! Jake, the rabbi, wouldn't say that. Warren Berke? No way. What other white male members are there? Quest Fanning? What a sweet and gentle soul. Seriously, who are they talking about? I'll give you a "fuck you" here and there. That's been uttered many times on all sides. In NYC it's practically a greeting, especially if you're being disrespected. It's also used as a synonym for "oh, c'mon!"

The baiting of the Jewish community is unconscionable. And not to quibble, but Passover is not TWO WEEKS, especially this year falling as it did on the Sabbath. I mean, seriously? And since when has POSTPONEMENT been a big issue for MTOPP? They've been pushing back, and pushing back, I don't even know how long it's been since the Board even held a vote. Look, you can't say "how many Jews are on the committee - why not just hold the meeting without them?" and expect everyone to say "oh yeah, that's a good point you have there." Fortunately there a lot of Christians and agnostics on the committee, so it's pretty certain a quorum can be reached. Forget the secular Jews. Even if they do celebrate Passover they'll bounce right back on day three. Oy, and thank god there's no Amish or Muslims!

But rather than dig into that fight, I want to suggest another option. Nothing. That's right, nothing. In this one email, Alicia made it clear this can only get uglier, and uglier. She will not allow consensus on ANYthing, and she might just drag us down into a 1990 pre-riot sensibility. Her followers are getting angrier and angrier. The whole City has gone anti-rezoning crazy, as if THAT's the real problem causing rents to rise. Ugh. This is such intense ignorance of how capitalism works, how the City charter works, how the DEVELOPERS work, what as-of-right means, how little the City has in its tool kit to prevent neighborhoods from completely changing complexion and wealth.

But if the "leader" for the opposition to a study stoops to such lows, and considers the Community Board the problem...maybe it's time to remove the "problem" from the conversation. A bunch of members have resigned. Most don't speak up at meetings. There's no sense at all that people realize what's at stake, save maybe a dozen concerned Board members. So...maybe it's time to take one for the team. There's simply no winning, even if we "win."

All I know is, there's a meeting Rebecca F and I are hosting on Monday night, same time as the ULURP, since it was rescheduled, again, at the last possible minute. And for the first time since this whole thing started, I don't seem to care that I won't be there. The well has been poisoned, and even my friends and allies stay mostly silent, unable to counter the strength and volume of a few very, very angry residents. 

I'm going to be at my block's meeting at 40 Clarkson Monday night. We'll be talking crime. You're all invited. Hope to see you there.

I just hope all these negative voices realize that the worst excesses of developers, and the lack of affordable options, will be on their hands. They claim they're fighting for no more unwanted buildings like 626. I wonder how much they'll be able to deliver? Remains to be seen, I suppose.


Anonymous said...

All men know the c word is completely off limits. If one were to use it every woman within earshot would run the offender out of town clothes ripped to shreds and if he was lucky, his balls still intact. I get the sense that she is sick and really does believe she actually heard these words spoken.


Carmen said...

Shame, shame, shame. Alicia and her sheep should be embarrassed. This is so disgusting, I have no words.

FYI to everyone, the meetings are all on YouTube. I've seen all of them myself and Alicia is straight up lying. It's been sad and frustrating watching people ask her nicely to stop yelling and interrupting and she simply doesn't care. Good luck, PLG, your fate will be similar to Franklin Ave. The speed of the displacement and gentrification coming your way might give you whiplash.

Anonymous said...

Sue her. She's lying and it is libel.

Anonymous said...

I don’t know if anyone thought about this. Could it be possible that she’s being paid to create this chaos by the developers? Just think about it; she’s doing their dirty work for them. Because I can’t believe that she’s that crazy, irresponsible or both.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:25
I thought about that possibility yesterday, its a shame this sad case lives in PLG.

Bob Marvin said...

Anonymous 10:25 PM–you're far from the first to speculate about that!

babs said...

I've made that comment several times, as have others. It seems the only logical explanation; on the other hand crazy people often act illogically.

Alex said...

A point that should not be completely lost -

The more MTOPP stalls progress, the longer Concerned Citizens has to prepare for their independent study.

Just a thought!

Alex said...

Anon 10:25p, Alicia's neighbors have assured me that she is not crazy. So, yes, somehow this all serves a practical purpose for her. And them?

Anonymous said...

I considered suing her for libel and slander for all the lies and character assassination AB has thrown my way, but get this - the city told me I have to hire and pay for my own attorney - even though we serve as volunteers on behalf of the city. Thx a lot. No good deed goes unpunished.

Anonymous said...

I considered suing her for libel and slander for all the lies and character assassination AB has thrown my way, but get this - the city told me I have to hire and pay for my own attorney - even though we serve as volunteers on behalf of the city. Thx a lot. No good deed goes unpunished.

Anonymous said...

Please don't give her an out or an excuse for appalling behavior. This has been completely her choice all along and she deserves the scorn. She earned it.

Anonymous said...

I'm a developer building in PLG. Do you really think that the dozens of developers working in the neighborhood really get together in a smoke-filled room and decide to hire to hire Alicia Boyd to slow down the rezoning process? C'mon.

Anonymous said...

What time is Monday's meeting?

Anonymous said...

What time is Monday's meeting?

Anonymous said...

Heinous, but not terribly surprising.

Does anyone know how big MTOPP actually is at this point? It won't justify the lying and insane behavior, but it would be helpful to know if there are 5 people buying into this nonsense, or 50.

Anonymous said...

1. I just moved to this neighborhood and pay the 'ridiculously high' rent (i.e. one of the worms).

2. I am not white.

3. I don't like the sound of this woman.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there, Mr. Q. The "anonymous" certainly appreciate the (accurate and newsworthy) information that you push out through this blog, and the efforts you have made for this community.

Anonymous said...

MTOPP was handing out flyers at Sterling St. station this morning about a meeting or protest (?) tonight to stop a letter? Here's the text:


Date: Monday April 20th, 2015 @7pm
Place: Crown Garden Community Rm. Entrance on Nostrand Ave. bet. President & Carroll St.

they want to vote on a letter that will put Luxury buildings like Williamsburg and Downtown Brooklyn all along our major streets, Flatbush, Empire Blvd, Washington Ave, Nostrand, Rogers Ave, etc...

COME OUT and STOP them from Displacing US! SAY NO to the LETTER!

Could the Q clarify the "they" and "letter" in question?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

ULURP committee meeting. It's up on the CB9 website. The committee voted to accept the meeting to City Planning asking that they begin a Planning Study of half the district. We voted in favor at the last meeting, but AFTER the chair had called it adjourned. if you can believe it.

It's for a study IN COLLABORATION with the community. There are no specific changes required, and the board has asked for maximum affordable housing set asides in all new construction. There's other language in can read it on the website.

If it passes committee, it still has to go to the full Board. I'm not at all sure that it will get enough affirmative votes to pass. And even if it passes by a slim margin, I might go on record as saying the community is too divided to move forward. Let MTOPP spew its venom somewhere else for a change.

babs said...

Surely not dozens of developers, just one or two specific ones with designs on Empire Blvd. Just wait for those BSA variance requests backed by certain Albany politicians (or those who haven't been arrested yet).

kimplicated said...

So sorry to hear this attack. But fundamentally, it's just like all the others. She's just pushing buttons until she finds which ones stop each person. Don't let her stop you! Your insight and dedication are one of the best defenses against her destructive plans.

MikeF said...

I wrote this about last night's ULURP mtg.