By Jason Linetsky
Community leaders, non-profit organizations, tenant associations and elected officials as well as representatives from the Mayor’s and Governor’s Offices gathered at the Brooklyn Sports Club recently to address the issue of gun violence in East New York (ENY), Spring Creek and Starrett City.
The meeting, a new initiative under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent Gun Violence Disaster Emergency declaration, featured roundtable discussions on ways to lower firearm related crime rates around the neighborhood. Approximately 40 people, including State Senator Roxanne Persaud, State Assemblywomen Jaime Williams and Mathylde Frontus, and ENY Community Advocate Nikki Lucas, attended. Tables were set up for topics such as mental health, apprenticeships and job training, outreach, job creation, and accountability.
“We need to have information available. Correct information with more ways to get it,” stated Lucas. “For example, I brought up flyers for this meeting. There were flyers with a totally different location. Residents in this area may not attend important events and meetings if they see a different zip code on flyers. We must make sure information is provided and it is correct to everyone who may need it.”
Lucas also brought up goals to have new jobs with prevailing wages and more affordable housing in ENY, apprenticeships with the promise of jobs upon completion, and more projects, which offer union membership opportunities.
“This community needs more jobs with wages high enough for people to live on, and take care of their families with. We need to make sure people don’t fall to the wayside. If there are projects and programs funded by the city, in East New York, then we need to make sure there are jobs available for residents in East New York. If there are union-involved projects then we need to make sure jobs are available for residents with opportunities to join the unions. Finally, we need to make sure people know when they may need more training or other steps to progress in their jobs. Companies are not informing employees of additional classes, training, exams and other routes that would allow them to be promoted and grow with the companies. This information needs to be freely and easily available.”
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