In New York City, there are 59 Community Districts. Each of these districts has their own respective Community Board. These Community Boards have up to 50 representatives on their Board. The appointment of these Board Members is done by the Borough President of the Borough that the Community is in. About Half of the appoints are based on the recommendation of the local City Council Member whose district that the Community Board is in. Community Boare Members voluntarily for two year terms. Community Board Members live, work, own a business or have a significant interest in the Community.
What do Community Boards do?
Land Use and Zoning Maters - Community Boards must be consulted on placement of most municipal facilities in community and on other land use issues. They may also initiate their own plans for the growth and well being of their communities. Also, any application for a change in or variance from the zoning resolution must come before the Board for review, and the Board's position is considered in the final determination of these applications.
City Budget - Community Boards assess the needs of their own neighborhoods, meet with city agencies and make recommendations in the City's budget process to address them.
Other Community Concerns - Any problem that affects part or all of the community, from a traffic problem to deteriorating housing, is a proper concern of a Community Board.
Their Limitations - The Community Board, its District Manager, and its office staff serve as advocates and service coordinators for the community and its residents. They cannot order any city agency or official to perform any task, but Boards are usually successful in resolving the problems they address.
Community Boards definitely play a "boots on the ground" role within the community but, there is a problem when appointments are done more as political favors, bargaining chips (bribes) or to consolidate power and allegiance. This is not true representation of the people and community. This issue is going on throughout many of the community boards throughout the 5 Boroughs. And many times, it is not on the Borough Presidents. We tend to forget that there are those who help make the decisions or make the final decision without the Borough President even knowing. There are council members who will recommend the appointment of their campaign volunteers, those who they want to give titles to to buy their loyalty, etc. There are some Council Members who actually have integrity and appoint those who are truly invested in the community, but they are few and we must solve this issue. We were able to make it to where Community Board Members are Term Limited but there is more that needs to be done.
- Make Community Boards an Elected Position for the Community to vote on who they feel the Board Members should be. (This will help with community engagement with and allow community members to become more active in the daily activities of their community board. This will also open it up for more people in various communities in the community district to be able to be represented on the board.)
* Anthony Beckford is a Single Father, Community Leader, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, Freelancers Union Member, son of Afro-Carib Immigrant Parents from Jamaica, President of Black Lives Matter Brooklyn and the 2021 City Council Candidate for the 45th District.
For Immediate Release
Statement and Call to Action by City Council Candidate of the 45th District / Black Lives Matter Brooklyn President, Anthony Beckford.
"We are fighting at two battle fronts. One is against police brutality and systemic racism and the other is the self-hate and destructive nature of a few people that are committing acts of violence against their own people. Let me be very clear that I believe in the power of language, so I will not use the racist narrative that many feed into such as "Black on Black Crime", because you will never hear anyone use the title of "White on White Crime" with the mass shootings and everyday cases of murder and abuse that the media fails to highlight in the affluent communities. For anyone who is wondering where is Black Lives Matter in response to these shootings. We are out here and always have been in our communities fighting back against the cycle of violence that a few want to inflict on many. We are out here putting our lives on the line daily against systemic racism and gun violence.
A 1 year old baby by the name of #DavellGardner was just murdered. We are NOT alright with that. We are NOT ok with that. We demand justice for this baby and every person who fell victim to gun violence. We say their names as we say the names of those murdered by the police. We march and demand justice the same. Let us stop being reactive and become more proactive.
I condemn all acts of violence against our people. I condemn the officer that gets away with murdering a Black Man, Woman and Child and I condemn the coward that murders innocent people, especially children. I condemn the elected officials who have refused to take my advice to come together to close the iron pipeline and I condemn the racists and lost souls who try to paint the whole Black community with a stained brush. I condemn those in the community who know the cowards that murder our people and allow them to return and stay in our communities. I condemn the elected officials who give us low hanging fruit low budget funding for programs and services and act like they too are not responsible for the deaths that occur on a daily basis.
I am a single Black Father and Community Leader that is on the frontlines of each of these fights and have been fighting tirelessly. I have lost family and friends to fun violence and I do not tolerate it or stay silent on the matter. I do not settle for empty rhetoric and bandaid fixes to open wounds. I grieve and hurt with these families, because as a community, WE are all family. I am calling on the Electeds to come meet with myself and other advocates who are doing the work daily without the funding and learn who can truly get the work done. I am calling on every Clergy to start taking to the street corners and inner blocks and to not talk at, but talk to the youth and hear their cries for help from the self destruction. Bring them into the fold. I am calling on all generals and OGs in the gangs to call an immediate Cease Fire. There used to be rules and structure and it is all falling apart. I am calling on those in the NYPD and those from out of state who are pushing the guns back into our streets to cease and desist because we will not tolerate this any further. I am calling on all true allies to not only be with us when we stand against police brutality, but stand with us when we battle against gun violence as well. You cannot speak for us, but you can support us. I am calling on all Advocates and Community Leaders to set your egos aside. We have work to do and it needs to be done now." - Anthony Beckford
*Anthony Beckford is a Disabled U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, Youth Mentor, Community Leader, President / Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter Brooklyn and 2021 City Council Candidate of the 45th District.
(Anthony Beckford with his 8 year old daughter and fellow Advocates and Educators)
For Immediate Release:
Statement from Anthony Beckford regarding Mayor De'Blasio planning to make cuts to education.
"The pandemic is already causing uncertainty and has exposed disparities, that can no longer be ignored. It has already revealed how many of our lawmakers are eager to cut funds to community programs, educational tools and many other resources and services that are for underserved communities, while they are absent in the communities they were hired through votes to represent and serve. While we are battling the pandemic, we are also battling against egotistical politicians who are showing that their priorities are not those who are in need, especially Black and Brown students, but interests of the privileged and wealthy. The Mayor, Governor and many other Local and State Electeds fall into this category.
Governor Cuomo is making cuts to education and healthcare. The cuts specifically target the resources and services that are needed by schools and hospitals for underserved communities and community members. Many of our state legislators voted for his budget, which calls their loyalty to the people into question. Now, Mayor De'Blasio plans to slash the education budget by $827 million, including more than $200 million directly to schools for staffing, the arts and other programs that are crucial for students and their futures. De'Blasio announced certain cuts, such as; $100 million directly from school budgets, $43 million from slowing the expansion of pre-K for 3-year-olds and $49 million eliminated from pausing programs that help students to be able to get to college and provide much needed individual counseling for middle school students. He is literally robbing our youth, educators and communities.
De'Blasio has also cut funding for the Summer Youth Employment Program that provides jon opportunities for over 75,000 youth between the ages of 14 to 24. This is an income source that is the means of financial survival for many of the youth and their families, especially those who live in NYCHA housing throughout the city. These budget cuts, same as Cuomo's, are deliberate and racially bias. At the end of the day, We the People must bring the egos of the Mayor and Governor back down to earth and hold the Politicians that support their cuts accountable.
What we need to take a look at is the Department of Education's administrative spending as well as the payouts to consultants, especially during this pandemic. Just the cost alone on central administration and district / borough offices has skyrocketed from $489 million to $734 million in just 6 years from 2014 to now. This is throughout the time that De'Blasio has been in office. I definitely agree with Councilman Mark Treyger who is the Education Committee Chairman, om his call to take a closer look at cutting many of the new positions created by School Chancellor Richard Carranza, who along with De'Blasio showed lack of leadership by failing to close schools on time. This resulted in many family members of students as well as educators and principals to become sick and resulted in the deaths of of about 65 of them so far.
I agree with fellow advocates, especially those in the parental advocacy group, Class Size Matters, that the Mayor needs to eliminate contracts that add up to over $700 million for busing while the pandemic still exists and schools are closed, professional development, as well as consultants whose services are not needed during the pandemic. I agree with Council member Brad Lander's proposal to freeze the hiring of NYPD officers. There is so much that can be done on both the state and local level.to make sure that students do not further become the victims of an already bias and divisive system.
I propose that the $11 Billion Mass Incarceration Expansion Project that was voted on by 35 senseless council members, be given the ax and that those funds be redirected towards education, public housing and healthcare. On the state level, I propose that we tax the 122 billionaires in New York State, in which 42 of them live in New York City. This along with other taxes such as a "Stock Buy Back" Tax. These taxes as well as a "Millionaire's Tax" can more than likely bring about an increase of $20 Billion a year in revenue into New York State. This will not be an increase in taxes, this will be the wealthy paying their fare share of taxes instead of the working class being the ones to have to give their last. There are many other ways to bring in even more revenue into the city and state on top of what was listed. The bottom line is, Do Not Cut Education and the Programs that are needed by the People. Prioritize the People and not the proposals of the Wealthy and Privileged."
*Anthony Beckford is a Single Father, Disabled U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, Community Leader, Former UFT Member and 2021 Candidate for the 45th City Council District. He has been a longstanding advocate for housing, education, healthcare and many other issues that our communities face. Anthony is the President and Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter Brooklyn and the Save Our Youth Initiative.
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Disabled U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and Community Advocate, Anthony Beckford, has officially announced his intentions to run again for the 45th New York City Council seat in 2021. The 45th Council District seat which includes the communities of Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Marine Park, Flatlands and Kensington, was previously held by Jumaane Williams, who is now the Public Advocate of New York City. He is a Single Father, Son of Jamaican Immigrants, Advocate, Organizer, Veteran, Mentor and Human Rights Activist. Anthony Beckford is a graduate of Midwood High School and is currently taking online classes through SNHU to obtain his Bachelors Degree in Psychology - Mental Health. A former UFT Member and current Freelancers Union Member. Anthony Beckford has been a vital voice in the community and throughout New York City, when it comes to Worker's Rights, Women's Reproductive Rights, Ending Gun Violence, Stopping Hate Crimes, Immigration Rights, Tenant and Homeowner Rights as well as Equity in Education, Jobs and Healthcare. He has truly shown what Unity and Solidarity looks like. Beckford previously ran for the seat in the 2019 special election, but did not gain ballot access despite being the frontrunner at the time. Despite knowing that the district tends to vote down the Democratic ballot line, Beckford who is a Democrat, jumped back into the race to run in the general election without being on an official party line, so he had to create his own and was able to secure 4.81% of the votes. The issues that he has made his priority for his race are Housing, Education, Small Businesses, Criminal Justice Reform and Climate Justice. He has sworn to not accept Corporate or Super PAC donations for his campaign. Beckford is a member of New York Progressive Alliance Network, Democratic Socialists of America, New Kings Democrats, Jews for Racial and Economical Justice, Central Brooklyn Progressive Action Alliance, Muslim Democratic Club of New York, Working Families Party, Brooklyn Progressive Alliance and many other progressive organizations throughout New York and around the country. He is also the President/Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter Brooklyn and the President of the Brooklyn Chapter of Copwatch Patrol Unit.
"My campaign is a grassroots, people powered movement. I am anti-establishment, which means that I stand against greed and corruption. I am on the front lines every day, advocating for Our Families, Children, Seniors, Tenants, Homeowners and Small Business Owners. There are many issues that we as New Yorkers are facing. It is not only the Trump administration that is our problem, but also corporate controlled democrats who put corporate and real estate interests before the needs of the people. This is why I am choosing to run. It is time for their to be true representation in the 45th District that is focused on the issues and will provide solutions instead of giving lip service and abandoning many of our underserved community members. It is time for us to vote out fake democrats who are truly conservatives that do not have our best interest as a priority. The work that I will do while in office and the progressive legislations that I am ready to introduce in my first 60 days in office, will benefit the whole of New York City. I will work to put an end to the housing crisis and protect both Tenants and Homeowners with my "Housing Justice Initiatives", end gun and gang violence with my "Save Our Youth" Initiative, push for the passing of the "Small Business and Jobs Survival Act" so that we can save our Small Businesses, bring Equity and Funding to our Schools and so much more. I will not be alone with this work. I will work with my soon to be fellow city legislators, our state and federal legislators like Alicka Samuels, Justin Brennan, Carlina Rivera, the 2021 candidates that I have endorsed, Julia Salazar, Alessandra Biaggi, Jessica Ramos, Al Taylor, Charles Barron, Mathylde Frontus, Latrice Walker and Alexandria Cortez. I will also work with Community Leaders, Clergy, Non-Profit and Grassroots Organizations and Community Members to move our city and state forward for the people. It's Our Time to bring about change, because together we can make a difference." - Anthony Beckford
Contribute to Help Keep The Advocacy Efforts Going
Anthony Beckford is a Single Father, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, Community Leader, Published Author, Organizer, Former UFT Member and current Freelancers Union Member. Anthony is also the President and Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter Brooklyn and the President of the Brooklyn Sector of Copwatch Patrol Unit. He is a graduate of Midwood High School and active community member. Anthony is also one of the newly elected Kings County Democratic County Committee Members and Former City Council Member of the 45th Council District in Brooklyn.
Anthony has always been boots on the ground and on the frontlines advocating for our communities. He has shown true dedication, leadership, integrity and consistency. He is the son of immigrant parents from Jamaica and is a first generation Brooklynite. His mother worked hard as a visiting nurse for years and became a School Crossing Guard to make sure that her schedule aligned with his school schedule. His mother has been a school crossing guard for for over 30 years and is a long time Union member of DC37 Local 372. Her dedication, sacrifices and selflessness, has taught Anthony how to think of others before himself, be the advocate that he is today and take on the role as a significant leader in the community. Her involvement with her union has shown Anthony the importance of a Union family while growing up.
Anthony has helped advocate on many of the issues we face and has advocated for many of the State and Local legislations for Criminal Justice Reform, Immigration Protections, Workers Rights, Women's Rights, Animal Rights, Housing, Education and so much. Many of these pieces of legislation have passed, but he knows that more can be done. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Anthony established food and mask distribution sites and drop-off services. He has partnered with grassroots organizations and fellow advocates to provide over 160,000 hot meals in partnership with the Gyro King, PAYS and other organizations, 25,000 PPEs and over 900 bottles of handmade hand sanitizers to first responders, essential workers and community members. After the murder of George Floyd, he has organized and led various protests and helped with the push that led to 11 Police Reform Bills to be passed in New York State and 6 in the City.
* Anthony Beckford is a member of Flatbush Tenant Coalition, MDCNY, NYPAN , CBPAA, Caribbean Unity Alliance, Brooklyn Progressive Alliance, East Flatbush Progressive Alliance, NYC Against ICE, VFAR, New Kings Democrats, Citizens Action of New York, JFREJ, Democratic Socialists of America, NYC Democratic Socialists of America, National Low Income Housing Coalition, Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, NAN, Brooklyn Young Democrats, Bangladeshi for Political Progress, Black Lives Matter Movement, Rosa Parks Democratic Club, Indivisible Bk, Citizens Action New York, South Central Brooklyn United for Progress Discussion and Working Families Party. He is also a founding member of Central Brooklyn For Bernie 2020.