2014-04-11 / Columnists

An Intern’s Take

On Its Way To Rockaway Fax
By Ilyassha Shivers

What do you guys think? Rockaway Fax. I asked my dad to help with my name search this is what he came up with. He’s the one who came up with Ilyassha which took some getting used to. It took some time but I think he made a good choice. So unless there are any other suggestions Fax Rockaway it is. As I begin my new journey I thought to myself where should I begin. While we were sleeping the powers that be were on the job. I read a post, thank you Milan that really hit home. The post was about gentrification and how a community can be transformed right before your eyes.

I thought about the residents of the many housing developments. You are a part of the “public housing nightmare” as described in a recent article in the Daily News. So you have a tale of two cities. As millions of dollars are flowing into the Rockaways post hurricane Sandy those who are most in need of assistance are being marginalized.

I wanted to get some firsthand perspective on what’s going on in the NYCHA developments so I reached out to Mr. Glenn Collins. Collins is the current resident of the Redfern Tenant Association. When I asked Collins about the current state of affairs he was quick to draw attention to the poor relationship between the police and the residents “because at the end of the day, we don’t trust them and they don’t respect us,” Collins said. He mentioned the constant harassment of residents and lack of discretion in dealing with quality of life issues such as sitting on benches after dark and trespassing. One of his biggest concerns was safety and lack of resources made available for the tenant patrol. “NYCHA refuses to provide insurance and equipment needed to effectively monitor the grounds. This is due to a prior situation where a resident on tenant patrol was murdered.” So on one end of the peninsula residents struggle to secure the basic rights and on the other there is an economic boom. Gentrification is described as a shift in an urban community toward wealthier residents and or business and increasing property values. Gentrification is typically the result of investment in a community by local government. If you are not familiar with this process you can look at how Harlem and areas of Brooklyn were transformed. This is the tale of two cites, as new businesses and over priced homes pop up. Where will that leave the current residents who are not able to afford these homes or frequent these businesses? On the outside looking in. Will the Rockaways take the same path as did parts of Brooklyn and Harlem where almost overnight the community was displaced and transformed? If you are concerned get involved find out what’s going on. Contact your elected officials. Find out where they stand and what they are doing to protect your interests.

On another note there are several great things going on in our community and people working to make a difference. Come out on Saturday, April 12 and support Raven Simone a 14 year old who has decided to help showcase some of the talented youth in our community. Ravens Rising Stars will take place at the Imperial Ball Room 259 Doughty Boulevard, Inwood. The event is from 5-10 p.m. There is a cost for this event. Contact her mom Terry Ann at 917- 436-8279. Raven will be representing Far Rockaway in the National American Miss pageant.

Also, if you are interested in what’s going on in our community come out next week. The 101st Precinct Community Council meets the third Wednesday of every month. And, one more, the National Action Network has a Far Rockaway Chapter. Their next meeting will take place on Thursday April 17 at Macedonia. For more info you can email me at shiverswave@gmail.com. As always tell me what you think.

Send me your suggestions and comments. And don’t forget to read The Wave.

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