On Saturday morning, July 8th, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY 08) held a two-hour session of Congress on Your Corner in the Holy Family Church parking lot, 9719 Flatlands Avenue. Prior to the 9 a.m. start, scores of constituents queued up in anticipation of having their grievances heard by the House Democratic Leader.
Each constituent met privately with the congressman and a staffer who noted their complaints. Due to privacy concerns, their issues were not publicized, but the staffer disclosed that they pertained mainly to quality of life matters. Nigel Dupree, a resident of the Breukelen Houses, which is part of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), shared with the Canarsie Courier that his “biggest concern is mental health and investing in the youths.”
“Many living in public housing face things every day that affect their mental health, but they have become so numb to it,” he stated. “I feel in some form or fashion we should have free access to a psychiatrist or therapist.” Dupree, who is the president of the Breukelen Houses Tenant Association, also disclosed that he spoke with the congressman about investing in more programs for the youths so that their time could be occupied doing something better than “subway surfing,” a clear reference to the June 22nd incident in nearby Bushwick, where a 14-year-old lost his life surfing on the “L” train.
In addition to hosting Congress on Your Corner, Jeffries held a free shredding event simultaneously, at the same location, providing constituents with a safe method of disposing of personal household documents.