On June 24th, 2023, Equity Platforms, in partnership with NYS Assembly Member Nikki Lucas, EastNewYork.com, Totem, LDC ENY, and NYC Mayor’s Public Engagement Office, hosted EMPOWER East New York: Discovering the Keys to Affordable Housing – the second in a series of community events aimed at educating and empowering East New Yorkers.
Recently, leaders in Albany failed to pass any meaningful housing reform by the end of the legislative session, further squashing the opportunity for more affordable housing to be built in NYC and perpetuating a system that makes accessing such housing all the more difficult. Saturday’s event kicked off with a powerful panel convening Bill Wilkins, Executive Director of LDC ENY, Asia Thomas, Director of Organizing at Open New York, Ismene Speliotis, Executive Director of MHANY, and closed with remarks from Assembly Member Nikki Lucas. Conversation focused on obstacles to obtaining affordable housing and ways in which affordable housing programming should be elevated to increase access for all New Yorkers, including:
- Building housing more intentionally; ensuring that new buildings address the specific needs of the community they’re built in;
- Making information and language around affordable housing more accessible and less convoluted so that community members are able to understand the process more clearly and advocate for their needs;
- Increasing programming and community events that promote civic engagement, education and collaboration.
Over 60 East New Yorkers, local advocates and community partners attended the panel and Q&A session. Attendees also had the opportunity to use iPads to access Housing Connect and directly learn how to apply for affordable housing – an often confusing and convoluted system. Key takeaways from the discussion include:
- “We cannot be a first class city if we have people living in second class housing,” Bill Wilkins, LDC ENY
- “Education is key; until we can speak the language of policymakers and developers, it’s impossible to make demands of them,” Ismene Speliotis, MHANY
- “The conversation will continue with or without you; you have a decision to make and your voice is needed,” Asia Thomas, Open New York
Continuing the EMPOWER East New York event series, the operators have announced an expert panel discussion and workshop titled “Tools for Career Development and Entrepreneurship” taking place on Saturday, July 29th from 12p – 2p at 127 Pennsylvania Avenue in Brooklyn NY.
The event will provide a unique platform for job seekers to engage directly with a wide range of local businesses and organizations actively seeking new talent. From entry-level positions to specialized roles, employers from various sectors will be present to showcase their opportunities and discuss potential career paths. This event offers an invaluable chance for residents of East New York and the surrounding areas to connect with local businesses and explore potential career options.
In addition to the career fair, the event will feature an insightful panel discussion with distinguished professionals from different industries. The panelists, selected for their expertise and experience, will share valuable insights, career advice, and success stories, offering attendees a glimpse into various career paths and the skills required to excel in today’s job market. The panel discussion aims to inspire and motivate participants, empowering them to make informed decisions about their professional aspirations.
RSVP is required, so be sure to sign up at empower.eastny.com.
For more information and updates, contact the Equity Platforms communication team at firstname.lastname@example.org.