Tree Limbs in Need of Pruning, 24/7 Open & Monitored Restrooms & Clean Up Needed

Tree Limbs in need of pruning: If you see a limb in need of pruning call 311 to report

 

As long as we have a  homeless population we will need bathrooms open 24/7 with security and maintenance.

Parks workers have an impossible job to keep this place clean every day.

 

Vandalism at the BRC Senior Center

Front door glass is smashed.

BRC workers quickly put up boards. Police will be watchful and undoubtedly be checking local cameras.

Who takes out destructive feelings on a place that feeds elders of our community who are poor?

Onward.

 

Council Member Chin’s Office: Free Bike Helmet Give-Away Saturday June 23rd!

Franklin D Roosevelt on Strength. And Have a Happy Father’s Day. And…Resist.

 

“Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough”

Flowers M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden

 

SDR Northern End Thursday Night and Tonight

2016 Op/Ed: “Time to Reactivate Stanton Street Park Building”

The Lo-Down: (first published in 2016 but still relevant):

“In a time of diminishing resources we must rethink how we allocate the ones we have.  Community resources such as the numerous park buildings that dot the Lower East Side must be returned to active neighborhood use. We can no longer afford to have these buildings used for storage or sit neglected as empty space. The Stanton Street building in Sara D. Roosevelt (SDR) Park was once a bustling youth center. We need it back.

Affordable spaces are vanishing. With the ongoing collapse of structural support for vulnerable youth, elders, and working people, the need for access to publicly owned sites in densely populated, low-income neighborhoods is clear. And, as Hurricane Sandy made evident, we are in desperate need of hubs from which to catalyze self-help efforts to take on climate change locally.

There is an urgent need for gathering-places to plan our common future and to share skills. We need dedicated sites where we can tackle current crises and strategize to prevent or ameliorate those that loom.  Three community issues in particular stand out: the ongoing youth-on-youth violence, the disintegration of funding streams for low-income neighbors, and the need to practice “going green.” Could we marry these in one building?

We recently lost a bottle redemption center nearby. This has had an immediate impact on those who live on the economic margins. The working poor rely on this supplemental income to stay in their homes. Could we share these buildings for recycling? We get “greener,” people get concrete help.

We have young people who need to know they matter. Our teenagers need to take charge of their future. But in order to do that they need skills and hope- they already have the energy and the ability. Bike-share programs are coming to the LES in the spring along with jobs to maintain them. Can we use this site to train our youth to fix a bike?

Could they learn to build solar panels and install them? Figure out how to build a wind generator? Can math and science serve a present purpose- not just in a textbook? Can information be used to excite the minds of our youth who may see no way forward towards a life that has relevance?

In our community we have talented volunteers who are eager to share knowledge to help us create a better environment -right now. They can teach us how to ride a bike. Or fix it. Or fix your grandmother’s shopping cart. Or teach us how to grow vegetables or flowers or fruits. Or how to compost. Or knit a sweater or sew a shirt. Or read or write. Or make a poem. Or organize the tenants in your building. We have many skills here: across class, race, age, schooling and gender. Could we use park buildings as central clearinghouses for taking concrete actions? Could we site technological think tanks here that point us towards a sustainable future? Could parks become models of sustainability?

What if we show youth some options? Insist on possibility despite our own exhaustion and discouragement? Stop telling them what THEY should do and instead show them what WE will do? What if we make a decision to stand on behalf of our children and our planet? Apply sustainability to sustaining our environment AND our youth?

Can we use our combined talents and power to shift our focus to solving crisis and not waste time finding fault, blaming others, doing nothing or talking endlessly?

It has been done. The Delancey SDR Park building was reopened in the 1980’s because this community fought for it. The building had sat empty, with no park funding. It now houses the BRC’s senior nutrition center. M’Finda Kalunga Garden, Stanton CSA, SDR Coalition, Community Board 3, Parks Department and others meet there. It is a beehive of activity. Generous hard-working staff and seniors have created an oasis of caring in our park – on a shoestring budget. This building bristles with joy and purpose.

We can do it again.

We have active interest in re-energizing park buildings from our Council Member, Community Board 3, the neighbors, local funders and not-for-profits. We have ongoing efforts to survey the buildings and the neighbors as well as offers to maintain and program the building. We have interest expressed from the Parks Department.

Just as the erosion of our environment must be challenged now (because hurricanes and physics won’t wait) so we must pivot to take on the other urgent needs of this neighborhood. All our public resources must be fully used.

I’ve heard reasons why we can’t reopen the building. But for any of us who’ve witnessed the disaster of Sandy or the disaster of children dying on our streets- none of the reasons hold. I can’t imagine losing my child to such tragic foolishness but I also cannot imagine sitting by while OUR tragic foolishness says there is nothing we can do about it.”

Current conditions in the area around the Stanton Building “Storehouse”

 

 

Happy Domestic Workers Day!

Alice Walker –

 

 

Turning Madness into Flowers

It is my thought that the ugliness of war, of gratuitous violence in all its hideous forms, will cease very soon to appeal to even the most insulated of human beings. It will be seen by all for what it is: a threat to our well-being, to our survival as a species, and to our happiness. …

We will turn our madness into flowers as a way of moving completely beyond all previous and current programming of how we must toe the familiar line of submission and fear, following orders given us by miserable souls who, somehow have managed to almost completely control us. We will discover something wonderful: that the world really does not enjoy following psychopaths…

The world – the animals, including us humans – wants to be engaged in something entirely other, seeing, and delighting in, the stark wonder of where we are: This place. This gift. This paradise.

We want to follow joy.

And we shall.

The madness, of course, for each one of us, will have to be sorted out.

 

 

NYT “Seizing Children From Parents at the Border Is Immoral. Here’s What We Can Do About It”

From the NYTimes

 

“this is not about crime or security, but about the most elemental human values”

 

Call Congress. Find out who represents you in Washington, and let them know you want the practice of family separation to end. Ask them to support bills that will help reunited children already taken from their parents and also prohibit future removals. Those include the Senate’s HELP Separated Children Act and Keep Families Together Act. The American Civil Liberties Union offers a script for calling the Senate, though we suspect most callers will be able to find the right words themselves.

Join protests. People are taking to the streets in communities across the country Thursday to register their outrage at this border policy. Join these or future actions.

Donate to legal and humanitarian efforts. Immigrants, even children, have no guarantee of legal representation as they pursue asylum or face deportation. Most do not know their rights or speak English well enough to represent themselves. In 75 percent of cases where children had counsel, an immigration judge determined they had a strong enough claim for asylum or humanitarian protection and allowed them to stay in the United States.

Vote. Your 2018 primary election may be coming up soon. Please be sure to register and vote. Elections are ultimately the most important tool Americans have to seek change in how their government operates — and the values it espouses.