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.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

$1.4 Billion For Central Brooklyn

Holy smokes that's a lot of mackerels. Did you know this was coming? $1.4 billion to create a healthier and more positive environment specifically for Central Brooklyn. While the media has focused never-ending attention on gentrification in the nabes of Crown Heights, Flatbush, Bed-Stuy and even East NY and Brownsville, here comes the moolah. Such a strange time in Central BK history, but welcome nonetheless. I say strange because crime and unemployment have been going down for the last several years, business is picking back up, and land prices are skyrocketing. If this is in fact a "holistic" plan, I hope the right people will be doing the planning.

NY Times On Cuomo's Plan

There will undoubtedly be more analysis to follow. $700 million for direct health care - where does it go precisely? What sorts of jobs will be created and trained for? What local groups benefit, and what politicians will reap the rewards?

Ironically I asked my daughters today to look out the bus window on the way to school and venture guesses as to what was in all those bags piled high on the back of a long flatbed truck. "Money?" my youngest asked, imagining stacks upon stacks of $100 bills. The truck was heading towards GAP. Metaphorically, anyway, it appears she was right on "the money."

Again, I don't want to be cynical when so much money is being promised to such a relatively small chunk of the state, albeit populous and deserving. But I also get a bit itchy looking at how the Chamber of Commerce took center stage, and those real estate companies and banks make the whole thing seem a bit...oh maybe I should just be glad someone's paying attention. Right? The full announcement is here. The bullet points first:

Social and economic indicators show that Central Brooklyn is one of the most disadvantaged areas in all of New York State, with measurably higher rates of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, limited access to healthy foods or opportunities for physical activity, high rates of violence and crime, wide economic disparities from unemployment to poverty levels, and inadequate access to high quality healthcare and mental health services.  

Vital Brooklyn will break down barriers of health and wellbeing through eight integrated areas of investment:
  • Open Space and Recreation
  • Healthy Food
  • Community-Based Healthcare
  • Comprehensive Education and Youth Development
  • Economic Empowerment and Job Creation
  • Community-Based Violence Prevention
  • Affordable Housing; and
  • Resiliency

And then the more biz focused Chamber's announcement:

Brooklyn Chamber Encouraged by Governor Cuomo's Vital Brooklyn Initiative

"We want to commend Governor Cuomo for his Vital Brooklyn Initiative which will pump $1.4 billion into Brooklyn's most underserved areas," said Brooklyn Chamber President and CEO Andrew Hoan.

"As Brooklyn continues to grow jobs in the private sector, there's no reason why residents of Central Brooklyn shouldn't get the proper training and access to these jobs.

"The Governor's eight-pronged strategy will also work to transform community health and wellness in Central and Eastern Brooklyn. We thank him for recognizing that it is necessary for every Brooklynite to have access to primary care doctors and mental health facilities.

"In targeting communities like East New York, Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights, the Governor is offering inclusive resources that will assist people in every neighborhood, and business sector, in meeting a range of needs for thriving, growing and expanding in Brooklyn and beyond.

"We look forward to working with our state legislators to help advance this series of initiatives, outlined here."

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo with Brooklyn Chamber Board Members Eladia Causil Rodriguez, of Eladia's Kids, and Trish Martin, of Halstead Property. The Governor's announcement was hosted at Medgar Evers College, a Chamber member.

Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo


elbell said...

Will you eat your hat if the $700 million was because of some stealth Mathieu Eugene wheeling and dealing to get money for King's County Hospital?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

And wash it down with a tall glass of water from Prospect Park Lake. That is the single most absurd thing I've ever heard in my entire life. Other than Donald Trump is president, of course.

Anonymous said...

The $700 million capital investment in health care would help create a network of 36 ambulatory care centers, which would include partnerships with existing community-based providers. The health measures were designed, in part, to end the reliance on emergency room care, which can be costly and ineffective.

More than any other group, which group depends on the emergency rooms for their medical care? Illegal immigrants. This spending plan will ease their transition to Medicaid. Moreover, it appears to be evidence of de facto enrollment in the program. The plan is also further confirmation that illegal immigrants are welcomed and that they vote.

Now that Cuomo has put his imprimatur on this form of welcoming, look for a baby boom among illegal immigrants dropping anchor here.

MikeF said...

It should be interesting to see what he cuts, or taxes to raise these funds. does not grow on trees.

Anonymous said...

I think they should spend more on health food and less on violence prevention. People get angry eating too many Doritos and drinking too much Fanta. Violence probably follows poor nutrition.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

I used to feel bad for Slappy the Trumpy (Anon at 5:35). Now his people are in the White House. When he's not spouting off about how whites are more intelligent and blacks are more violent, he's throwing back Breitbartisms at us. Who knows, maybe he writes for that online dump.

Besides being offensive, you're wrong about emergency rooms. Some proof. But more to the point, if Cuomo needed a bunch of illegals to vote, why not just pay them to do so, rather than spend billions on their health care?

I'm convinced that we're witnessing the last gasp of the slave-holder syndrome, desperately seeking to reimpose a Jim Crow era on all non-whites. It's a losing proposition, and as soon as not-so-racist working class whites realize the company they're keeping, it'll be all over. Obama led to Trump. Trump will lead to stronger progressive coalition. And no one needs to buy any votes, dude. Your days are numbered. Enjoy them while they last.

No I'm not saying that racism will disappear. But Trumpy Bannon Sessions won't happen again, and we'll have this moment to reflect on when we choose our future leaders. I only wish they were capable of feeling shame.

Anonymous said...

Clarkson, you missed the point about illegal immigrants and their voting. As they say, all politics is local. In the obvious districts -- much of Brooklyn and elsewhere in the city -- they are allowed to slip on to the voting rolls to the benefit of the lowest rank of candidates. City councilmen and low-ranking state reps, among others. Pols including Mathieu Eugene and your pal Clarence Norman, now staging some kind of come-back. The upstream benefits in the presidential elections are not the driving force. But certainly the impact of illegal immigrant votes is understood.

Yvette is now advocating on behalf of some of her most important constituents.

Anonymous said...

P.S. Gotta love that Kaiser Healthcare Study on illegal immigrant dependence on emergency room service -- in California. Nice straw-man argument there:

That “negates the myth that undocumented immigrants are responsible for [emergency department] overcrowding,” the researchers wrote in the latest issue of the journal Health Affairs.

Nobody said anything about illegal immigrants causing "overcrowding" in ERs. The claim is only that, as a group, they receive a huge percentage of their care through ERs. Why? Because it's free to them and no one in the ER asks questions about their immigration status.

The report also states the following about doctor visits and illegal immigrant children:

...children’s doctor visits. Ninety percent of U.S.-born children had at least one doctor visit in the preceding year, while only 78 percent of the children in the state illegally did. Naturalized citizens and immigrants in the state legally also had significantly higher rates than those without proper authority.

Of course, the study doesn't differentiate between children born in the US to a mother who is an illegal immigrant and one who is here legally.

The survey “does not explicitly inquire about undocumented status,” researcher write, so they “developed a model to estimate California’s “undocumented immigrant population.”

Anyway, who could fault someone from Mexico or points south for wanting access to the US medical system? And, once realizing how the system works, then taking the next step by obtaining voting rights. America, what a country, right?

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Given that most of these folks are working jobs that american citizens refuse to do for such low wages, I think access to an ER now and then is fair, since we have no other option for them.

You miss the point that these folks are here to do our dirty work, service jobs, child care. Republicans who demonize them are busy employing them to run their estates.

But anyhow, if you can't prove your voter fraud claims, you're just as bad as the rest of them. In red states you'd think they'd be coming down hard on illegal voting. So where's the proof? I suppose this is all Dem/Repub collusion of some sort? Hardly. Committing felonies, despite the rhetoric, is not high on the list of strategies for our undocumented workers. They even shun ERs for fear of deportation. Why would they risk voting illegally?

Anonymous said...

Am I missing the part where Central Brooklyn is actually defined? I don't see any mention of Flatbush/East Flatbush.

And, because I want more parks (green spaces, not cement pads with a swing), what is the deal with promising a green space within a 10 minute walk of any neighborhood. All of the neighborhoods are big enough that I'm sure this is already true. What would be worthwhile is a green space within a 10 minute walk of anywhere in Brooklyn.

Anonymous said...

Step one: Cover up the B/Q train tracks with green space (or just about anything really). I'm sure that rumbling and horn blasting could incite some violence of its own!

Anonymous said...

The green spaces also need security. Prospect Park, the children park on Winthrop, etc.