In Response To East End Matters
In response to last week’s edition of Miriam Rosenberg’s “East End Matters,“ I must respond since I was in the same meeting she was referring to in her commentary.
After years of community organizational in-fighting, frivolous lawsuits from self-proclaimed activists and donothing politicians – why all of a sudden is there is an urgency to make a plan? I’ve lived in Rockaway for over 34 years, attended many meetings and it’s the same people and the same personalized agendas at every meeting ... and nothing ever gets done. Why? Because there is no focus, no research, no funding, no plan, no majority support and most importantly no “new” ideas.
If the City of New York will not develop a plan for our community, then we must present city officials with a well developed plan of our own and speak loudly until Rockaway is heard.
At OUR meeting, hosted by the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance in January, Ms. DuPont gave a presentation and asked everyone to divide into groups to discuss a community plan that included the needs, wants and dreams of Rockaway neighborhoods and businesses. The attendees at that meeting all voiced their “group” ideas and while many ideas overlapped, there were many fresh ideas, issues that need more discussion and topics that needed research. We are still in the beginning stages.
Have a meeting? We can ... but we’ll only be showing up to argue with other attendees over personal opinions and private agendas. If you were paying attention at the meeting, we have a lot of ideas that need to be thought out. Research and funding is most important. Not just with getting better transportation, more jobs or solving quality of life issues but with creating a plan to be presented to the City of New York. The 197a “Rockaway” Master Plan must be developed over time, with community input, “new” ideas, research, design concepts, political influence plus city, state and federal funding. The Rockaway Master Plan must be “solid.“
Ms. DuPont and her staff at the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance have done more than all the self-appointed community activists combined and have proven to get the job done. She has followed New York City administrative protocol, drafted grant applications, hired landscape architects, “clocked” many hours of research, developed relationships with city officials and secured project funding. In my opinion, she is the ONE to lead this endeavor.
At the January meeting’s conclusion everyone had his or her list of homework assignments. Do your research on the discussed topics and when the next meeting is called, voice your researched opinions and ideas in a constructive matter OR put away your typewriter, hang up your rotary phone and follow the new community leadership.