Friends of Brooklyn Community Board 6, Inc. was established in 2003 to support Brooklyn Community Board 6 by providing resources intended to improve the quality of life in the communities that make up the district. Brooklyn Community Board 6 includes the neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens/South Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope and Red Hook. Friends provides planning, advocacy, research and administrative resources to supplement the limited capacities and budget of the Community Board, thus enabling the Board properly to carry out its City Charter-mandated task of evaluating the needs of and advocating on behalf its constituencies. Through this balance of public and private resources, Friends of Community Board 6 aims to drive the balanced growth of all the communities it serves.
Friends of Brooklyn Community Board 6, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Brooklyn‘s Community Board 6 represents Brooklyn Community District 6, which encompasses Carroll Gardens/South Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, the Columbia Street District, Gowanus, Park Slope and Red Hook. Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Park Slope exemplify typical “brownstone Brooklyn” communities. By contrast, in the Gowanus and Red Hook neighborhoods an overwhelming portion of the population lives in public housing, many of them below the poverty line.
The challenges facing the district are varied; while all share the problem of decaying infrastructure, each neighborhood has its own distinctive set of land-use, planning and development issues that confront efforts to achieve balanced growth. The more prosperous neighborhoods contend with overcrowded schools, inadequate public transportation, an overheated housing market, and shifting demographics and needs as people continue to move to the areas. Red Hook struggles with rebuilding its economy since the demise of the shipping industry, a problem complicated by the neighborhood’s “disconnection” from the rest of Brooklyn by the construction of the Gowanus and Brooklyn-Queens Expressways in the 1930s and ‘40s. The Columbia Street District, a former industrial area that is home to some of Brooklyn’s once-bustling piers, is similarly isolated by these two highways. Gowanus grapples with job creation creation and poverty and what to do with its eponymous canal; no longer one of the dirtiest waterways in the country, the Gowanus Canal is the focus of a tug-of-war between local residents who want to see it reclaimed and made accessible, and developers who dream of a mini real-estate boom based on a new “little Venice”.
At current levels of City funding, CB6’s District Office chronically lags in its ability to keep up with the demands of the Board’s work. Proactive planning and long-term thinking are rare privileges for an organization that is mandated to represent and advocate for the varied needs of its neighborhoods. The Board is unable, for instance, to commission independent studies to help it develop policy or adequately to assess policies proposed elsewhere by City government. With the Board’s operational budget stagnant for the last 20 years, a separately funded auxiliary organization is necessary to allow the Board to do its job properly, given the number and complexity of issues CD 6 faces. Friends of Brooklyn Community Board 6 is that organization.
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