What is the Park Slope Civic Council?
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
The Civic Council’s mission is to understand the concerns of the various Park Slope constituencies and to select and implement effective responses through events, activities and advocacy efforts that engage the community and enhance our quality of life.
The Park Slope Civic Council nurtures, defends, celebrates, and invigorates this community we call home.
Without the Civic Council, the Park Slope we know today would not exist. In the 1950s and 1960s, we organized to stop urban renewal’s bulldozers, fought bank redlining, planted thousands of trees, and launched our annual House Tour to present Park Slope as an alternative to would-be suburbanites. In 1973, we secured our neighborhood’s future when we won designation of the Park Slope Historic District, and we helped safeguard its character in our push for the city’s first “downzoning,” passed in 2003.
In 2007, we took the first steps toward expanding the Park Slope Historic District to safeguard our neighborhood’s character for generations to come. The section on Advocacy details other ways we go to bat for Park Slope today — fighting for a people-oriented re-envisioning of the Atlantic Yards project, for example, or pushing for more livable streets.
Elsewhere on our website, you can also read about the many other things we do to keep Park Slope one of America’s great urban communities: the annual Halloween Parade (the largest children’s parade in New York City), our semi-annual Civic Sweep, and the more than $10,000 in grants and scholarships we give out each year to neighborhood organizations and local high school seniors.
The Civic Council has a solid record of working effectively with civic organizations in other communities, on the premise that very few local issues are confined to one community and the larger the community that works together, the better are the chances of getting real results. The Civic Council is a founding stakeholder member of the Grand Army Plaza Coalition and BrooklynSpeaks (concerned with Atlantic Yards), and it is well represented on the Borough President’s Fourth Avenue Task Force. And the Civic Council works with the two business improvement districts (BIDs) in our community (North Flatbush and Park Slope Fifth Avenue), and the merchants who are exploring forming a BID on Seventh Avenue.
All these efforts are entirely volunteer driven, from the grassroots up. If there’s a project you’d like to help out on — or a project you’d like to see us take up — join the Civic Council today and let’s make it happen! We’ve been around a long time — since 1896 — and we are making this a civic organization for the 21st century, reaching out to the whole community to give shape to its dreams and its great potential.
Photo from the Prospect Park YMCA roof
by David Herman