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.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Let the Woman Speak

One of her supporters recently told me I don't give Cabia Doily enough opportunity to speak truth to justice. Well, she sent a note to the whole community board and elected officials today that I figure pretty much sums up her positions, so I thought I'd share. More than one member of the Orthodox Community is outraged. The whole thing stinks, and she continues to get her way at every turn of the story. No one has yet been able to stop her power grab. Feel free to give her a call to "discuss." Or an email to At this point, she's driving the conversation about zoning, planning, district managers, committee and overall chairs, transportation and safety, housing...if anyone deserves Time's Person of the Year, she rivals the Trumpster. On the one hand "who cares?" On the other, there are so many missed opportunities here, and so many elected officials have written us off.

Dear Neighbor

When I was a little girl growing up in Brooklyn
The greatest hero to come out of Brooklyn was Shirley Chisholm
The first Black Female Congresswoman!

I remember being disappointed that she wasn’t a raving beauty
But I could remember the pride that I felt that she was from Brooklyn
My hometown, my borough, the biggest concentration of Black People
In the United States, what a hero!

When I grew up I realized that she also possessed something
Better than beauty, she processed integrity, commitment
And a desire to truly represent her community.
Her famous motto was
UnBrought and UnBossed!”

As it is always known,
The dark comes after the light -
The reign of Former Assemblyman Clarence Norman came into being.

For two decades he destroyed Shirley Chisholm legacy
With his own, of corruption and thievery.
He was known for his extreme loyalty to his people closed to him
And absolute in difference to his own people’s struggles.

He watched as the Community Board 9 was completely controlled
By a hand full of Jewish and White males from Prospect Lefferts Garden
While the Black community was completely ignored and disempowered.
The Crown Heights Riots depicted these serious inequalities
 but very little was done, beside a few token jobs and money
Given to youth programs etc…

During Clarence Legacy Brooklyn because known
as the most corrupt borough in NYC,
With his faithful allies standing beside him.
 One being Carman Martinez who was also caught doing illegal stuff
But was given a pardon for her testimony against him,
which placed him in handcuffs, his lawyer’s license revoked,
 and   9 counts of corruption convictions,
mostly for selling out the Judicial system,
where anyone wanting to become a Supreme Court Justice, or Civil Court Judge
In Brooklyn, could just buy it from Clarence.

Then on September 23, 2014,
all of the corruption at the community level was about to be exposed.
That was the day in which the community residents came out in full force
To the Community Board 9 to stop a rezoning,
which would cause the Black community to be seriously displaced
and the neighborhood gentrified
as it has been happening in all communities of color in NYC.

This request actually targeted only the Black Community
and again left the Jewish Community safe, outside its borders!

Again the community residents could see the inequalities,
the racial profiling, the disempowerment of the people
contained right within the borders of the rezoning request.

The newly appointed members of the board were a part of that new movement,
For they had been told they were being placed on the board
to stop this Old regime from continuing to dis-empower the people.
The aim was to remove Pearl Miles from her position,
To change the way in which CB9 operated
and to get a Black Executive Board in,
who would empower the people.

So this new group of CB9 members all voted to listen to the people
And rescind the letter, all except one personMichael Liburd
The question one asked was what did Michael Liburd
know that the rest of the members
Didn’t, but I will get back to that one.

Then a year of hell began as each member of the board was approached
And was convinced that…
Only the Black side of the parkneeded rezoningnot the Jewish.
They were convinced that this was a protective move.
That City Planning was actually coming to protect our homes
From all of the development happening in our community.

And yet nothing they had seen so far in the history of City Planning
Every showed that a Black Community came out ahead when a rezoning happened.

In Fact everything was showing the opposite.
Williamsburg, Harlem, Downtown Brooklyn.
These were all examples of communities’ once affordable, livable communities
Now completely out of reach for people of color,
and where the original people
Were violently removed from their homes and businesses.

They were however told that City Planning only wanted Empire Blvd
And just by giving up those three blocks, countless of other blocks
Would be protected. 

Of course none of this was put in writing.
These were just whispered statements, with no guarantees
Just going on blind faith and honesty
which hadn’t been displayed as even existing.

In a move to stop any type of education
or the voices of the people
Community residents were time and time again prevented from speaking
From joining committees. 

Community board members were told lies about what they could and couldn’t do
And kept completely in the dark.
Some were brought with favors or promises,
others threaten and some just removed
At the end of the term,
whereas others were promoted depending upon
Their commitment to a rezoning.

In the mist of all this,
there was Carmen Martinez known loyalist
and apart of Clarence Norman Regime,
having just lost her $140,000 year old job in June 2014,
Due to the Conflict of Interest Board filing charges against her
For stealing 14 years of Time from the Comptroller’s Office from 2000-2014.

This is also the same time that she was working directly for Clarence Norman,
So we can see how she might have been using that stolen time,
Despite the records making the claim she did it in support of non-profits,
namely my Block association,
which she didn’t officially join as an officer until 2011-2012.

She was illegally placed on the Board in June 2014 along with Michael Liburd
But she dared not vote against the people on September 23, 2014,
 because at that point, she knew she couldn’t go directly against her block,
who were the ones pushing for this rescinding of the resolution the hardest.

But from that day forward her side did a serious campaign
 of discrediting the opposition,
telling the board members that City Planning actually
Was trying to help and not harm this community.
and laying the ground work to eventually
Remove Pearl Miles and place Carmen Martinez in her position,

Because Carmen now found herself completely unemployable
by any other governmental agencies
Because of the all of the baggage that she was carrying;
her affiliation with Clarence Norman,
and her known tarnish record of theft of 14 years!

But first they needed Pearl Miles to do their dirty work.
To continue her reign of disempowerment,
so that a letter would be passed to give to the department of City Planning
requesting to rezone the Black side of the Park and the Black side of CB9.

However, once that had been accomplish
(but not very good) they threw Pearl Miles under the bus,
 blamed the entire year on her
and then proceeded to move forward.

New members were appointed onto the board
and given specific instructions as to their reason
why they were placed on the board
and the “hunt” for a new District Manager began

A Search committee was formed,
without community residents being allowed to join,
conditions of employment was all  decided behind closed doors,
including that huge spread of money from
 $59,000-$145,000 for the salary of the District Manager.

As Demetrius Lawrence did his famous “I’m Sorry” routine,
every time he violated the law,
and of course true to form,
Carman Martinez submitted her application
And is now conducting herself as if she is running CB9 already.

Despite having less than two years of experience on the board,
she is now handling housing issues, landuse issues, landmarking issues
and is now a voting member of the Executive board,

She was the main person, who has initiated, based upon her word,
The overthrow of the Executive Board with voting Chair members,
because she read in the Mayor’s Pamphlet and in the City Charter
That Chairs are a part of the executive Board!

Of course the community residents will not be surprised
That Carmen Martinez winds up a part of the final three applicants
To be considered by Community Board 9,
nor will we blink an eye when she is voted in as our District Manager

We are aware that a reign of corruption just doesn’t stop,
Because the people demand for it to stop,
Just as it just didn’t begin.

We understand that Shirley Chisholm left a powerful legacy
And maybe at one point Clarence Norman had tried to follow in her footsteps
but found them too big and powerful.

That corruption is a disease that eats at the soul
and slowly like an addiction
It happens so quietly that one doesn’t even know it until it is too late.

But all things change and change is on the horizon
As Karen Fleming stated at the last Community Board meeting
This community is now fully awake
and we are not going back to sleep!
Our Eyes are Wide Open!

We will not sit and watch another legacy of corruption take hold Of Community Board 9,
we will not watch our family and friends and homes be destroyed
because a few want to make millions off of the suffering of the many.

One thing history has taught us is that all corrupt regimes
falter and die and Community Board 9 is no different.
(718) 703-3086


Alex said...

A lovely, incoherent diatribe. Sweet.

Still dying to see the list of demands that Karen Fleming handed over as a newly appointed Transportation Committee member.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Here you go Alex. What do I care now? Remember, we were asked whether we liked the design. Months later, Ms. Boyd and Ms. Fleming are convinced that somehow we hold the keys to the castle. DOT has made it clear they're not going to present any more on the issue. They're done. Finito. Anyhow, given MTOPP's demands for transparency, I give you non-Board member Fleming's power grab. How she was even placed on the committee is beyond understanding.

"As I understand it, DOT will not make further 'presentations' to our Committee regarding the Empire Reconstruction Project. However, DOT has agreed to answer written interrogatories from the Committee. The questions are to be compiled and submitted to DOT by Transportation Committee Chair Pro Tem, Lawrence.

Therefore, obtaining cogent answers regarding the Empire Reconstruction Project now rests squarely of the heads of the Committee. Our due diligence can determine the future of our Empire Boulevard. As such, I am beginning this open thread with my 2 questions and I invite all Committee members to add their questions to the list.

1. Please produce the current "Master Plan" for the Empire Boulevard Reconstruction Project.
2. Please produce any and all Financial documents pertaining to the Empire Boulevard Reconstruction Project."

Karen Fleming

Anonymous said...

'Then on September 23, 2014,
all of the corruption at the community level was about to be exposed.
That was the day in which the community residents came out in full force
To the Community Board 9 to stop a rezoning,
which would cause the Black community to be seriously displaced
and the neighborhood gentrified
as it has been happening in all communities of color in NYC."

Right, cuz we all know how many people are currently residing on that strip of Empire between Rogers and Empire and are at risk of being displaced, right?

Give me a fucking break.

Alex said...

Ummm. Bizarre. Her conclusion about the role of the committee is the opposite of what it seems that DOT expressed.

Finito, meaning... reconstruction is off the table, or they're no longer consulting CB9 and will proceed with fixing one of the most horrible intersections in Brooklyn without "community input"?

babs said...

Stream of consciousness insanity. Truly pathetic.

Alex said...

I wonder if she realizes that "corruption" means that someone is taking a payout of some sort in exchange for a policy decision.

MikeF said...

She is a true believer.

...whatever happens, is viewed by her as supporting her worldview.

Anonymous said...

This is just the worst prose poetry ever created. Also could she at least spell or misspell consistently?

Anonymous said...

She is about one degree of separation from all the so called "mainstream" social justice types who wring their hands about "gentrification" and "displacement"
She is just more blunt and cruder in her racial analysis, but she is enabled by those who, trying to advertise their own sense of virtue, fail to reject the narrative of "racist oppression" when it comes to people simply buying what they can afford, and living where they can afford to live.

Alex said...

But let us also not forget that her real interest is in making sure that construction does not affect her Airbnb reviews. She's running a scam.

Anonymous said...

The fact that Someone like Alicia is able to control the future of this neighborhood for her own property value and that Lady Gaga is on course to become the one of history's top selling music artists is proof to me that we humans have started to devolve.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

You would knock the Gaga and not the Don? We've always had lame pop stars. I actually think Trump should name Boyd as running mate. Could solve some image problems, if he can just get her to keep quiet.

Anonymous said...

I will not discount that there is rampant racism happening in the midst of gentrification. However, I can still completely disagree with MTOPP's end game that does not directly empower folks of color. It doesn't, not even slightly!

Alex said...

MTOPP is actually a fairly authoritarian movement.

Anonymous said...

A good friend knows Gaga well and I've only ever heard she's a truly lovely person. So if you don't like her music just don't listen to her! Simple. Alicia Boyd on the other hand won't give our neighborhood that option. Nowhere we turn can we escape her screaming "poems" and her self serving efforts affect us all adversely even if manage to avoid her rants.

Anonymous said...

When did it become a crime to be white? My husband and I were born and raised in Brooklyn as well as my children. We moved to PLG when no body wanted to live there. I invested in the neighborhood and was part of its revival. When did that become a crime? Also our community belongs to EVERYONE! Sick of the bullshit once again!

Anonymous said...

You moved here when "nobody" wanted to live here? Or just 'no white people'? Coded language.

Danny said...

Anonymous (March 8th, 11am),

- Don't worry, it's not a crime to be white.
- As a Brooklynite, you need only to be aware that racial injustice exists, to have some compassion for people who live with it every day, and (if you can) to call it out when you see it. Here's an example of getting pulled over for driving while black:
- Gentrification is only a racial problem because in America, generally speaking, black and Hispanic families have less wealth, and therefore are more likely to not have a chance to own a home (and owning your home or apartment is the surest way not to get pushed out of it). Not being wealthy enough to own a home especially sucks because it works like a feedback loop: homeownership is a great way to build wealth.
- Your statement that you moved to PLG when nobody wanted to live there is somewhat inaccurate, because somebody wanted to live there: you did! And you certainly live in a great and diverse community that you should be proud of.
- Don't assume that Alicia Boyd speaks for all people of color. Like everybody else, and despite what we may think when are holding a microphone, we can only ever speak for ourselves.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Anon 12:05. Not so coded. I think most people, black white or indifferent, would read it loud and clear. I also know people of color who have used the same politically incorrect language. One persons haven is another's rough neighborhood I supposed. And color has a lot to do with it.

It's an unfortunate reality that prices of homes and rents didn't begin their skyrocket til white folk started moving here. I witnessed it, you did, so did Anon 11:02. But what I've noticed - at schools, neighborhoods, businesses - it doesn't really change til around 20%. That's the indication to other whites that it's a-okay, the water's fine, jump on in.

That first 20% are a combination of a) hopeful it gets whiter/safer and b) just don't care, the price is right.

Is there a difference? Perhaps we'd like to think so. I know which camp I think I fall into. But there's no reason to dance around the facts, and demographics, perceived safety and comfort levels tell a pretty clear, not so coded, story.

Anonymous said...

Actually, prices went up here when prices went even higher in other neighborhoods. People got priced out of Park Slope even if they made decent income. That's the problem I have with the anti gentrification voices here, they don't address that. Why shouldn't Park Slope shoulder the burden of adding some low income housing too? They should! People telling newcomers here, which includes among those I know just as many non white high income people as whites, not to explore alternatives and find homes they can afford in nyc, they're actually saying, "Get out of the city." Which is of course inappropriate, and depending on the parties in question, hypocritical. Like what if it's a newly emigrated Caribbean person telling a native white new yorker, it's morally best for you to leave the city than move to my neighborhood. A very high profile, important, successful black writer who writes about racism just bought a house here. And so he's a gentrifier. Right?

Bob Marvin said...

"It's an unfortunate reality that prices of homes and rents didn't begin their skyrocket til white folk started moving here. I witnessed it…."

I usually agree with you Tim but, with respect, you didn't witness it, nor did I, even though I moved here a generation before you. There were only a few years, in the early '60s, when white people weren't moving here. I was far from a "pioneer" (awful racist term) when I bought my house in 1974. House prices and rents were very slow to rise. I vividly recall being surprised when house prices went all the way up to $100K several years after my arrival. The enormous price increase in the last few years must have another cause.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Hmmm. Thinking...and what I think is that you may not have been in a position to hear the thinking that I've heard expressed in the last five to ten years. And my read has been it's entirely about class, race, crime, race, violence, race, drugs, race and race. In code, of course. And coffee shops, which as you well know, there were none of until K-Dog, which left a gaping hole til Tugboat.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

And by the way, the reason I say "in a position" is that we are of a (slightly!) different generation, and I have young kids, and know TONS of people who are going through the gotta finda house right now for my growing family or I'll never be able to afford NYC crowd. It's a playground conversation, and it's only getting louder.

Bob Marvin said...

You're right about the generational thing Tim. In addition, having written my earlier post before my morning caffeine dose I fuzzy-headedly failed to make it clear that I was mainly writing about houses; the apartment situation is VERY different and, for rentals, unlike owner-occupied houses, there was indeed a long period during which there were relatively few white people involved until the fairly recent influx.