It was a full house at 428 Columbia Street, #1C as the Red Hook West Tenants Association (TA) held their nominating meeting on November 12. This meeting precedes the election of five positions mandated by the Association Charter. While the tenant leaders act independently of NYCHA, a NYCHA official, Michael Cox, was on hand to ensure that procedures were followed properly.
Well known community leader Danelle Johnson was picked to lead the nomination process. In order that the proper rules of order were followed, she was prompted often by Cox. Nominations have to be requested three times – motion to close nominations must be made AND seconded. Cox’s booming voice was often heard making sure that Miss Johnson followed strict procedure.
Bazemore puts hat in ring
The big news was that Wally Bazemore put his hat in the ring, running against the affable Anthony Johnson for Vice President. Wally is a lifelong resident of Red Hook. Along with John McGettrick, Bazemore led the fight against waste transfer stations relocating to Red Hook. He is well known as a community leader. This is his first run for a position in the association.
Lillie Marshall is again running unopposed as president of Red Hook West. She has lived in the Houses since 1966, and has suggested that this may be her last term, because she plans on retiring to her native Barbados. Last summer she received an award from NYCHA president John Rhea for her work in promoting the small NYCHA farm along Walcott Street . In addition to being TA President, she the District Chair of the Brooklyn South City Council of Presidents (CCOP), which gives her certain authority over other TA presidents.
Cox explained very carefully the qualifications necessary for running. A candidate’s name must be on the lease. If a candidate claims to live in Red Hook West, but is not named on a Red Hook West lease, he is in effect “turning himself in.” NYCHA can pursue eviction or back rent, as rent is based on income. The candidate must be “in compliance” with NYCHA rules. And finally, the candidate must be a current member of the Resident Association, which carries annual dues of $2.
These restrictions may hampered participation because it took three tries to get any nominations for Treasurer. It was explained that if an office is unfilled, NYCHA benefits, including Tenant Participatory Funding (TPA) are withheld. At the last moment, two candidates nominated themselves.
The election will be held at the next Tenant Association meeting on Tuesday, December 10th, at 428 Columbia Street, #1C. Voting hours are 5 – 8 pm, and only members as of December 9th can vote. In case of a tie, there will be a runoff. Voters must also present a valid ID.
The candidates for Red Hook West Tenants Association are as follows:
President: Lillie Marshall
Vice President: Anthony Johnson, Wally Bazemore
Treasurer: Mary Downing, Cathy McKnight
Secretary Rhisa Benn
Sergeant at Arms Bernetha Curry, Barbara Y. Smith
The meeting ended with the serving of a light dinner and cake, as is the custom. Other business included speeches by representatives of Felix Ortiz and Nydia Velazquez, as well as the 76th Precinct.