Friday, May 14, 2010

Activity 5 -Maya Jourieh

I had attended a community board meeting with Danielle Nicolosi, who is also in the class. We had attended a meeting on Staten Island, where they mainly discussed the issue of the after math of a storm. There were about five tables of people who seemed to be important and lead the majority of the discussions throughout the night. We sat in the back as they were taking attendance to see which members of the council were present and who was just attending it for outside information. The ages of the main members ranged from about men and women in their 30-70s.
They called up the first speaker to the podium. It was a member of a team that was helping to fix the damages of the storm; however, I forgot the name of the team he worked for. The next speaker was from the Department of City Planning. He was at the meeting to explain the department’s new plan for redeveloping the island’s waterfronts. He had even come prepared with a (boring) informative power point.
The third speaker was the most interesting one of all. A middle aged Caucasian woman, who was fighting against her speaking time at first, had angrily walked to the podium to state her problems. Besides her ranting and throwing out violations (as if she knew all about them), all I understood from her speech was something about a parking lot at the dentist’s office. The funniest thing was her repetition of the phrase “Just bare with me!” with an attitude none the less; Danielle and I kept a tally, she said it six times during the few minutes she was up there.
Santa Clause was next! Well he wasn’t the actual Old St. Nick that descended from the North Pole on a sleigh, but he could have passed off as a look alike: long beard, low worn small glasses, and long white hair that was tied back. I didn’t concentrate much on what Santa was saying either; I couldn’t not tell whether or not he was against the cranky woman before him. The next speaker after him spoke of the same topic, but thankfully spoke clearers than the last two. He spoke against the violations and wished for the property to would once again be used for land use.
The next speaker had touched the hearts of almost everyone in the room. He was and elderly man who had lived in the same house for 50 years in Annadale. His home was completely ruined by the floods the storms had caused. He was very upset over what happened and was asking for any help anyone could provide. Someone had advised he call 311 and tell them of this occurrence, apparently they were planning on help those whose homes were ruined by the storm’s floods that night.
Lastly, the last speaker who walked up was to the podium was one of the dentists from the office building that the blonde lady was complaining about. He stated that he does not see a problem in the parking lot and the reasoning for the office taking up so much space was its ramp that was used by children with spcialized needs and does not feel like this is causing a problem.
All in all, the meeting wasn’t so bad. I’d have to say watching the people’s reactions to certain things was the best part of all.

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