Tuesday, March 08, 2011

City Limits posts an alternative message: Brooklyn's brand leaves many behind, and unity is needed for change

I expressed skepticism last week toward Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz's claim on City Limits that Brooklyn is thriving.

Now City Limits has posted an essay by Marilyn Gelber, president of the Brooklyn Community Foundation.

The headline is Brooklyn's Boom Leaves Many Behind: The director of Brooklyn's leading foundation writes that the borough's indisputable successes bring an obligation to look out for those whom recent changes haven't favored.

Gelber writes:
As a community, we must agree to improve educational outcomes for all of Brooklyn's young people—particularly for those living in high poverty neighborhoods; we should invest in the power of the arts to unite, enlighten all people from all cultures and all economic backgrounds; we must all ensure that our most vulnerable neighbors receive the community supports they need to be safe and secure in their own homes; we must fight to preserve affordable housing, and support well-designed new housing that fits in with the character of the community, and, we must strive to create a greener and healthier Brooklyn with well-maintained parks and open space, and opportunities to promote community wellness.

So, while we are indeed more than satisfied with the long-overdue attention being paid to our fair county of Kings, we must—as a community, and a Foundation—make sure this is more than a passing fancy.
That may be more a political than a charitable challenge. And so far, in the political realm, we've seen not universal standards--such as a commitment to affordable housing--but support for specific projects, like Atlantic Yards, because of perceived benefits.

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