NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – In this new CityViews series, Sharon Barnes-Waters takes an in-depth look at each borough in New York City, hearing from the borough president and highlighting a local business.
This week, it’s, “Hello, Brooklyn,” as she sits down with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation President & CEO Colvin Grannum.
Adams was born in Brooklyn and served as a police officer and state senator before becoming the borough president in 2013. What does he see as the main problem facing people in Brooklyn?
“The No. 1 issue in Brooklyn… The displacement and gentrification that is witnessing a large number of longtime Brooklynites, who are really being displaced, and the borough is becoming unaffordable,” he said. “It’s been acknowledged as being one of the most expensive places to live in America.”
He went on to say that Brooklyn “needs to be affordable.” He also talked about the borough’s unique partnership with houses of worship and its plans to restore and develop certain areas, including a tourism center.
Adams was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and found a way to reverse it, with the help of doctors. So the health of the people in Brooklyn is a priority for him.
“We are putting millions of dollars into building greenhouses in Marlborough projects, for one, and Canarsie so that people can see where food grows from and actually start the process of healthy eating,” he said.
As for the Bed-Stuy Restoration Corporation, it’s celebrating its 50th anniversary. What grew out of a love for Brooklyn has been recognized as the nation’s first community development that’s designed to rebuild communities.
“We really try to focus on the gaps between communities, like Bed-Stuy, Brownsville, etc. and the rest of Brooklyn or the rest of New York City,” Grannum said. “So you know, there’s a gap in income. There’s a gap in assets, like how much the net worth of people is. There’s a health gap… there’s an access-to-arts-and-culture gap.”
How do they help?
“We have an Economic Solution Center that serves about 8,000 people a year. And what we try to focus on there is helping people increase their income and increase their net worth,” he explained. “We help them get into the labor market, we help them build careers, we help them clean up their credit, we help them save.”
Find their full interview above. For Part 1 on Manhattan, click here.