Recently I attended a meeting of I Am My Community, an organization in the Bronx dedicated to stopping problems before they get bigger.
Darney K Born facilitated this meeting where he spoke about his efforts to preserve the peace in his community and avoid the involvement of police. In his community many people suffer from mental illness and often times the police are used when problems can be solved by people within the community. K Born also spoke about the epidemic of Crack Cocaine abuse that led to children raising themselves and losing respect for their elders.
I am my community has meetings in the Bronx and is a place where people can feel safe to talk about the community problems and solutions that are in progress. Over the course of the meeting K Born allowed all participants to speak for a few minutes.
The founder of a group called Peace December spoke about the need to eliminate poverty and violence. There are two bills in the NY State Legislature his group is supporting to address these issues:
- Neighborhood Protection act, which would allow people the right to buy rather than be kicked out of a property.
- The bill other is to force the city government to spread the funds for community organizations working to prevent gun violence.
You can read more about Peace December here http://peacedecember.org/
Akeem Browder spoke about is decision to run for Mayor on the Green Party line. He has been part of the Black Lives Matter movement and believes the solutions will not come from the Democratic Party. Akeem's brother, Kalief Browder, who committed suicide two years after being release from Riker's Island will be commemorated with a street named after him at 181st Street and Prospect which will be call Kalief Browder way. Akeem's campaign website is http://www.akeembrowder2017.org/
James Lane, the Green Party Candidate for New York City Public Advocate, also spoke about his life story. His mother was raped and gave birth to James and then gave him away for adoption. It was many years later that James finally met his mother, a reunion which was made difficult by New York State laws. It was that life event that made James feel he must run for office.
James spoke about how the services in this city were inadequate, because all people have a right to housing and healthcare. These services are being provided in a segregated manner. James talked about the injustice of the NY Public Library's plan to sell off properties to developers. His campaign slogan is to fire the politicians. You can learn more about James on his campaign website http://www.votejameslane.org/