Live From The GWAPP Meeting

March 26, 2014 by
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Wow, WTF 

Or:

Don’t let Mike’s earmuffs fool you, gentle readers, this was one very contentious convocation. We did not make it to “cookies”. Hell, we barely made it past introductions. However, after roughly 1 1/2 hours of discussion— and believe you me, it got heated (the “brown word” was employed and no, not it was not by yours truly)— I came away with the impression that it was a move forward. I’ll be adding videos as they upload. So check back! In the meantime…

Part I: An Introduction By Rich Mazur

Part II: We Introduce Ourselves

Part III: Introductions Continue

  • This is when it starts getting intense. READ: WATCH.
  • A citizen notes that there is a certain level of inter-connectedness between GWAPP and Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn. She continues to add that OSA’s recent fundraiser has a great many real estate interests as “sponsors”. This is true.

  • As you see, gentle readers, “Greenpoint Landing” is among the sponsors for OSA’s upcoming fundraiser. Greenpoint Landing was represented by Adam Perlmutter during the 2005 rezoning. His wife (who is on the board member nominating panel for GWAPP), Ms. McGlamery, loses her composure at 5:45. CAVEAT: profanity is used.

Part IV: And To Continue…

Part V: And Continue…

Part VI: And Continue…

  • Nick Rizzo, an aspiree for Lincoln Restler’s Chris Olechowski’s seat as 51st District Male Democratic Leader gives his two cents.

Part VII: The Last Bit I Was Able To Capture Before My “Smart” Phone Said “ENOUGH”

 

Concluding notes:

  • The discussion as whether the “new” GWAPP should retain the name resumed. Concerns were that the new organization does not, will not reflect the mission of the the original.
  • The representatives for Save Greenpoint, St. Anthony’s and Rolfe Carle* were suggested by Kate Naplatarski as GWAPP Board members.
  • Those of you who wish to nominate a GWAPP board member can do so via email at: gwapp (at) aol (dot) com OR…
  • attend the next forum, which will essentially be a continuation of this one. No date has been set yet HOWEVER…
  • It will be soon. Why the hold up, you ask? Very simple: I noted that efforts should be made so it will not conflict with the 94th Precinct Community Council meeting, any/all Community Board meetings or days that the Greenpoint Reformed Church is operating their soup kitchen/food pantry (as that may preclude volunteers for both/either from attending).

Thoughts:

  • As acrimonious as this meeting was— and it was— exactly how are we as a community (or GWAPP) going to move forward without having it? What seems to have been lost by some present is why so many people (including myself) have issues with GWAPP and the manifold number of other community “orgs” hereabouts. The fact of the matter is:
  • It has inextricable ties with Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn. Ms. McGlamery’s husband is one. Mr. Thompson’s wife (who spoke on behalf Greenpoint Williamsburg Soccer League) is another: her husband is a board member of “OSANB”. I mention this because it was not noted at this convocation. In any case it does pose the question as to why then, should we have two orgs: GWAPP and OSANB respectively. Or what can GWAPP do/offer that OSA does not. There’s plenty of issues that need to be addressed. Will GWAPP step up to the plate?
  • Rich Mazur stated that GWAPP, in the years wherein they did not conduct meetings, that he did not disagree with anything GWAPP did. I for one find this interesting.

Here’s why:

This whole exchange came to pass in 2009. To summarize: both OSA and GWAPP saw fit to issue yours truly what is known in the blog world as a nastygram. And board members of GWAPP were apparently not consulted on this. Sound familiar? Whoops.

  • I was encouraged to learn that part of GWAPP’s recently awarded GERF grant will be used for community outreach. What this will entail (among other things) is getting out the word in Spanish and Polish. I for one was very happy to hear this.
  • But, ironically enough, I noted that a web site is not enough. There are a lot of people in this community that are not being reached. The attendance at this evening’s meeting bore testement to this. It was sorely lacking in racial, ethnic and economic diversity. Who was present this evening did not reflect the Greenpoint community in its totality. If taken at their word, GWAPP needs to address this. And addressing this will entail aggressively courting “new” voices— by they “new comers” or “old timers”. We’re talking feet on the street, folks.

In closing, what I and a number of other folks took issue with Rolfe Carle outlined very well. So well I only had one word to add:

Transparency.

Yes, it is unreasonable to expect a community group’s members— especially a group in Greenpoint— to agree on some things. No. We take spirited debate to an entirely new level here in the 11222. This is what makes us amazing. However, how can one even have a debate if GWAPP’s (the Newtown Creek Alliance’s, etc.) own board members are not made aware of what is going on? E.g.: that GWAPP endorsed the Greenpoint Boathouse’s relocation to 51 Ash Street. Really? If one wants to avoid how the first 1 1/2 hours of this meeting were spent, this needs to change. Mr. Mazur himself welcomed new people coming to the table. This is good. But these, his, words strike me as being just that: words. They, GWAPP, need to follow up with action: using their resources to get more people involved. As far as I am concerned the onus is on them to prove that GWAPP is a viable community organization, not us— the community in whose name they profess to advocate.

*Who was generous enough to kick this over to me:

Thanks!

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