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.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

From Mad to Madness

I just read the latest from Alicia. My jaw is on the floor. I think I just stepped on it by accident. The below is what she wrote to her list. Rezoning - in order to preserve the predominant character of the neighborhood and encourage smarter development than the chaotic building we have happening now - has been characterized as...well, you can read it for yourselves:

Good Morning Neighbor

We have just been confronted with a serious crisis!
Community Board 9 plans on not having any resolution
presented to City Planning!

That is right!  Without a Resolution we are done!

What they want is to have 1 ULURP committee meeting
on Monday, Jan 26, at 890 Nostrand Ave.
Solidify the parameters of the study,
which is entire Black community, from Eastern Parkway
to Clarkson Ave, from Flatbush/Ocean Ave/ Washington Ave
to East New York Ave!

This is the entire Black Community
and it contains none of the Jewish Community!

Then on Tuesday, at the Community Board meeting
Located at 650 Bedford at 7 pm,
 not include the rezoning study on
the agenda, so we can't speak
But present a recommendation during the "Business session"
where the community can not speak
and vote to pass these parameters into City Planning Hands!

We need to come out on Monday and Tuesday
and shut CB9 down!
We will not allow our community to be sold to
the White Man, for whatever pay off they are gaining!

Yes, I'm calling a spade a spade!
This is our reality
A black community is being sold
to White developers
 And they are using Black people to do it!

The Jewish Community is not being included
in this study and thus has protection!

If you want to help mobilize for this coming week
Please call me asap.
We need people to man the phones
and to get flyers out into the community!

Dwayne Nicholson, chair of CB9, just wrote the board a note to us denouncing her latest two emails as hateful. You have to wonder whether ANYone, from the Mayor and Council on down, could be comfortable with MTOPP's language and sentiment. And how many of them, and the hard working folks at City Planning, would characterize a zoning study as "selling a black community to white developers?" (WvE, they're on to you! What are those white devils paying you, anyway? I understand, really I do. It must be hard to watch all those millions being made as you cash your civil servant paychecks. Just remember to make my cut out to my alias cuz I don't want to get reamed on my taxes, 'kay?). Especially when those white developers seem to need little help buying up properties all over Brooklyn. They've been on a spree for years now, and were hardly waiting for MTOPP's permission.

Then, perhaps most ominously, she basically accuses black members of the Board as being "used." I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear a certain Uncle's name invoked on Monday and/or Tuesday. The 71st will be on hand. Let's hope we have the balls to escort her out to the ambulance. Kings County Behavioral is mercifully just down the avenue. The meds will be waiting in paper cups.

Perhaps this a blessing in disguise, and her willful divisiveness will bring us all to the table together to slay the beast of racial invective, whilst engaging in respectful dialogue about a matter of some importance to the community? 


Carmen said...

I fail to understand how anyone listens to this woman and takes her seriously.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

You can't help but listen, Carmen. They don't make earplugs yet that drown out a Mack Truck.

There is, in my mind, no reason to fear her sentiments. They're probably not even terribly uncommon. I fear her ability to tear a room apart, and leave people feeling bad about themselves, their neighborhood, and the chances to get a fair hearing with the City about our future.

Carmen said...

I agree. She's actively tearing the 'hood apart by scaring people into thinking that someone else is tearing the 'hood apart.

babs said...

I would really like to ask any of the white people who consider themselves MTOPP supporters (and I know there are several) how they feel about this? Doesn't this woman's rabid racial hostility disturb them? Did they know they lived in a black neighborhood? I've lived here for ten years and never thought of it that way, and looking at my neighbors on my block it sure doesn't look that way. I just always thought of it as a neighborhood, period.

sc said...

Notwithstanding the divisive things said, it is NOT RIGHT for the community board to vote on something as important to every member of the public as a community wide rezoning without public comment on the record. If they have nothing to hide they should not be sneaking this into the business session.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

SC: The ULURP mtg is Monday, the Board meeting is Tuesday. Both are public and all comments will be recorded. There have been half a dozen other meetings leading up to it, and there will be a half a dozen more once the process starts. We are asking for a study, not for any one particular issue. Everything I have said has been speculation based on what I've learned and heard. But we are not voting on any specific zoning proposal.

You've been buying Alicia's bullshit if you think otherwise.

Alex said...

SC - I urge you to look at the crow hill association website, CB8 website and DCP website. Together they paint a very clear picture of just how much community input there was AFTER DCP created their PROPOSAL. Get it? PROPOSAL for public review. That is how it's intended to work. The CB identifies an area, DCP studies, community has meeting after meeting to provide input.

Educate yourself before you listen to MTOPP. Alicia is a disingenuous, selfish person who has not a care about the issues she purports to be concerned about. It's all about construction in her back yard. Ironically, she'll get it no matter what she does, so all that she's accomplishing is shutting the community out of the process.

Not sure why a Holiday Inn Express seems so much better to here than an apartment building.

roxv said...

first off, all of this is crazy. talk about divisive on all levels. i guess "calling a spade a spade" means anyone who doesn't fall into her literal black and white distinctions doesn't exist. i wasn't aware there were no latinos or asians in this community or that if there are, are we being co-opted by one side or another against our will? (much in the way she assumes any white person who disagrees with her is in an evil white developer's pockets...)

anyway here's hoping she alienated some of her supporters by putting out this crazy rant. because that's the only silver lining i can see in this situation

sc said...

Clarkson - so IS rezoning going to be an item on the PUBLIC agenda at the community board meeting on Tuesday? Because in the past, the public has NOT been permitted to speak on items not on the public agenda. The public is generally NOT permitted to speak during the business session about items raised during the business session. So there will be NO PUBLIC COMMENT ON REZONING unless the Chair decides to make an exception.

Second - if you are only asking for a study without any specific zoning proposals such as "increasing residential density on transit and commercial corridors", then PLEASE PUBLISH THIS "REQUEST" PRIOR TO THE MONDAY ULURP meeting so that the public CAN comment on it.

Please don't gloss over these issues with lines like "you're buying Alicia's bullshit". That doesn't convince the people who are educated, moderate, and aware of whats going on. Quite the opposite in fact.

And Alex - I am all about public education. Over the last few months we've invited the community to hear from two different zoning experts - people with planning backgrounds who have been through the process numerous times for numerous communities. You should come out for these sessions. What they've all said is getting city planning to take the wishes of the community into account isn't so simple. And when it comes down to it, the ULURP process is actually quite short and public opposition at that stage is frequently ignored. Board 8 (Crow Hill's) rezoning took almost five years from start to finish but most of that time was before the study process actually began, trying to determine the rezoning study area (and I assume internal discussions about the rezoning goals and priorities, much like what we are going through now)

Clarkson FlatBed said...

SC: Unless the committee decides otherwise, I don't think there will be ANY specific language. We'll let that play out during the leadup to the study and during the study and after the study ad nauseum. To reiterate: this was and is just a request for a study. You'll have plenty of time to express yourself, don't worry.

I floated a proposal that took out the increased residential stuff. I think it's probably out for good unless some fool tries to put it back in. Most of the board seems to agree it's inappropriate to single out any blocks in particular, and that's where we agree with Ms. Boyd.

I don't know why it's not on the full meeting agenda. I suspect because it hasn't been voted on yet in committee. Personally, I'd have put it on there. But that's the Exec's call.

Come out, speak your mind on Monday. The committee will likely vote on whether to ask for a study (which it already did last year), then it will be brought up in business session on Tuesday. At this point, there has been plenty of "discussion" and the Board, as representatives of the community, is fully prepared to vote accordingly.

Like I said, c'mon out on Monday. Introduce yourself! I'm the big guy who needs a haircut.

You know, my impression of what MTOPP means by "there hasn't been discussion" is "y'all haven't come around to our way of thinking." And when they don't get their way, they "shut it down." It's pure hypocrisy. And yes, it's bullshit.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Also, I quite like the CB8 rezoning. If there were three years of discussion leading up to the vaguely written letter, how is that different than the nearly six years that the community has wanted a rezoning in CB9? If you have detailed knowledge of the discussions that led to the request of Planning, and it differs greatly from what we've been doing, I'd love to hear it. Please give me a source and I will call them. I'm serious. I want to know.

As to the "experts" that MTOPP trots out, many of us have been to these info sessions. If Tom's your only source, I could see how you'd be dismissive. He used to work in the Brooklyn office and his grudges are well known. Frankly, I don't think he has a clue what's going on with our neighborhood, and he speaks in generalities. Remember, CB8 voted UNANIMOUSLY to accept the zoning changes. That's nearly 50 people totally on board. You think they were all hoodwinked?

But you can buy his logic if you like. And please, share it Monday. Maybe you'll convince a board member or two. I won't be one of them.

Anonymous said...

Babs, I think MTOPPs white supporters live and maybe own property on Sterling next to Empire so they are probably self serving NIMBYs scared of having their backyard views tainted with the possibility of new construction.

babs said...

Not entirely - I know some people who own on Lincoln and on Lefferts as well as renters on Sterling St (not the same block as AB), so there may be an element of NIMBYism there, but I don't think that's the overriding concern. I don't know if they've been turned off to MTOPP or not, but they started out as genuinely concerned about affordable housing in the area. I'm just wondering how they've perceived her rants.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear a certain Uncle's name invoked on Monday and/or Tuesday.

You didn't even have to wait that long, Q!

Looks like Ms. Boyd is doubling down on alienating people, with MTOPP flyers referring to "Uncle Toms" and another swipe about "the Jewish area."

Just what you want in a community leader (self-appointed or not)...complete tone-deafness and gratuitous ethnic insults.