Wednesday, March 05, 2008

GL Exclusive: New South Brooklyn Neighborhood Coalition Forming

A new South Brooklyn neighborhood coalition is in the works in Carroll Gardens, Gowanus and Red Hook to push issues on which there might be common ground. A private meeting took place on February 27 to discuss the mechanics of setting up the group and to work on developing a mission statement. Several groups, including the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association, CORD and the Union-Sackett Block Association, as well as a group from the Columbia Street Waterfront District of Red Hook were involved in the initial planning meeting. The coalition, which would include a variety of groups that don't always agree on issues, would use the Queens Civic Congress as one of its models. An email we saw says the goal is "to form a coalition to better have a say in what type of zoning and building our community will get from City Planning." A variety of new neighborhood groups have formed over the last year, particularly in Carroll Gardens and Gowanus. In many case, specific development projects have been catalyst.

Someone familiar with the organizing effort confirmed that planning is underway and told GL that "A lot of us have felt for a long time that all of the smaller groups must join up...we all want to unite as 'one' neighborhood." The email about the effort mentioned that one goals is to try to have some influence in the 2009 municipal elections and that the coalition will grow beyond some of the core organizations involved in organizing it. "More groups plan to join this coalition for considerable voting power during our next local elections," the email said. "The candidates and this election will be a big focus for this coalition so its importance could be considerable."

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