Dec, 16, 2012 By Christian Murray
A newly-formed Hunters Point civic group aims to be the central vehicle for LIC residents to voice their concerns and express their needs.
The group, called the Hunters Point Civic Association, will be holding its fourth meeting at the New York Irish Center (1040 Jackson Ave.) on Monday night at 7:00 pm—after launching in April. It is being led by Brent O’Leary, a Citilights resident who was a candidate for this district’s city council seat in the last Democratic primary.
O’Leary said that there are many business groups in the Hunters Point area. However, he said, that there isn’t a broad forum representing residents.
He said that the resident organizations that have emerged to date have largely been built around single issues—such as LICDOG, which advocated for the creation of a dog run and access to Gantry State Park. Other groups have focused on issues such as the residency requirements of the upcoming affordable-housing development.
However, O’Leary said there has been “no central or umbrella group which these groups could use to organize” or rally around to reach representatives.
O’Leary said that he was able to help LICDog get in touch with State Senator Mike Gianaris and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer so their arguments could be heard. Gianaris was a speaker at one of the group’s earlier events.
He said that the new association aims to hold monthly meetings—similar to some mature associations in Sunnyside/Woodside and Dutch Kills.
O’Leary said the goal of tomorrow night’s meeting will be to get further feedback from residents as to what form the group should take. He said some people want to focus strictly on municipal issues —while others want to attach charitable and social components.
Furthermore, he said, the creation of committees will be discussed, where individuals will be free to look at key issues—such as schools– depending on those that are of concern to them.
He said that most of the members are likely to be new residents who are looking to start families here. “They want to have a say in the how the neighborhood will develop especially in relation to schools, housing and transportation.”
O’Leary said that Hunters Point residents don’t have a convenient way to voice these concerns. “The Community Board is in Sunnyside and it covers both Sunnyside and Woodside which for the most part have very different concerns than our neighborhood,” he said.
The group plans to host elected officials, representatives from government agencies as well as the head of Police Precinct 108 to discuss crime at its monthly meeting.
Meeting: Monday, Dec. 17
Time: 7 pm
Place: New York Irish Center (1040 Jackson Ave.)