The President of the Flatlands Civic Club, Inc. (FCC) spoke of a number of goals that she would like to accomplish to increase membership and address longstanding, unaddressed issues in parts of Flatlands – despite numerous requests – at the group’s monthly Zoom meeting.
“The main goal of Flatlands Civic is to preserve our community. We have to do this as a joint effort,” FCC President Joan Gilbert said at their Thursday, April 28th meeting.
She emphasized the need to form a board again in order to be visible, viable and resourceful to the community. “It has to be more than one person,” she said.
She reached out to a number of elected officials and others for support. Among them was Assemblywoman Jaime Williams who partnered with FCC to increase activities and conducted a walkthrough with Gilbert through some problematic areas.
Williams pledged that she is here for them and is willing to walk those walks again to make sure that residents receive information on upcoming meetings. She also pledged to talk to her colleagues to reach out to their staff and do what they need to do.
Williams announced that her office is having a compost giveaway in the Marine Park parking lot on Sunday, May 15th, between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. Those interested must RSVP in advance by calling her office.
Gilbert also contacted State Senator Kevin Parker’s office and sent pictures of problem areas to Rhea Smith, a new staff member who works in the community affairs office. She invited her to join in on the next walkthrough planned for East 56th Street, between Flatlands Avenue and Avenue J.
“That little enclave has become a hazard,” Gilbert said. “It has become a sanitation issue because all the cars are parked there, and they’re permanently parked there so Sanitation can’t even clean; it’s also unsafe.”
She said that the issue has gotten worse and that it’s not the first time they have been talking about it. More recently, she reported that there was a fleet of Amazon trucks in that area and cars suffocating the street, but more recently, there have been big plastic advertisements placed all over that just cheapens the neighborhood.
“Our elected officials have to show more interest, really,” Gilbert said. “They have to show more interest because this has been there for quite a while.” She’s grateful that there will be a walkthrough so they can get a visual image of it.
Smith was also asked about a new building near the corner of Glenwood Road and East 55th Street, as members would like to know what it’s about and if the people there would be willing to get involved with Flatlands Civic. Smith plans to join the next walkthrough.
Special guest speaker for the evening, Stephanie Logan, Program Director for P.S. 251’s Bergen Beach Youth Organization’s afterschool program and the Summer Rising Program, spoke about her programs.
Logan said the process for enrollment is completely online this year, via a portal, which opened on Monday, May 2nd.
Right now, Logan is focusing on enrollment for Summer Rising, which is wide open, but if members have any children attending P.S. 251, she doesn’t have much space for the school year program. She is organizing a Community Health Fair at P.S. 251 Playground, 1037 East 54th Street, on Saturday, May 21st from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The next FCC meeting will take place on Thursday, May 26th at 7 p.m. RSVP is required for Zoom information; email: Flatlandscivic@gmail.com.