Friday, November 03, 2017

A Personal Message From Your Neighborhood Blogger And A Challenge To Each Of Us

Carroll Park in Carroll Gardens, Fall 2017

Dear Readers,
I have been so, so incredibly touched by all the congratulatory emails, comments on this blog and on PMFA's Twitter and Facebook  page after news broke that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's indictment against President Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort included the very questionable financing of Manafort's Carroll Gardens property at 377 Union Street.

In February 2017,  a tip from a resident living a few doors down from Manafort's investment property led me to  investigate its ownership and financing, and to publish the unusual findings in a post on this blog. We now know that Manafort stands accused of using this and other real estate holdings to launder money.

It has been quite nice to get so much recognition for my investigation from the press in the past few days. Yet, it is my community's generous response that made me feel incredibly proud to be living amongst you.

I have been writing about issues in Carroll Gardens, Gowanus and the surrounding area for almost ten years now.  Pardon Me For Asking is a labor of love, a give-back to a neighborhood that I adore and which welcomed me thirty-two years ago, when I moved here as a young bride.
It is also my attempt to keep my neighbors informed on important issues that affect all of us.

Much has been made of the "blogger who brought down Paul Manafort."  I understand the appeal of that storyline, but I blush when people call me an inspiration, a local hero. You see, I prefer to focus everyone's attention on the importance of staying involved in one's community and to speak up when something seems amiss.

I believe that if we work hard to make our neighborhoods great, we will end up with a better country. If we elect truthful and honorable local politicians, we have a better chance of having trustworthy representation in Washington.  If we call out special interests in our own communities, their lobbying efforts may not influence on the national stage. Developers will only take advantage of our city if we let them. Crooks will get away with their crimes only if not exposed.

So here is a challenge to all of us.  Let's pledge to:
-get to know who is representing us on our Community Board and let us attend one of its meetings.
-each identify and get involved with at least one issue that we care about, be it the rezoning of the Gowanus Canal area, the cleanup of the canal, transportation, parks, schools, the loss of our mom-and-pop stores...
-get to know our local politicians and tell them truthfully (and respectfully) how we feel and how they can help make our community better.
-We need to revive the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association or form a new one. We have been without a neighborhood organization for far too long.
-Remember, without a voice, we will not be heard, so let's use ours.
-Most importantly, let's get to know our neighbors.

We are all capable of being local heroes and inspirations to others. Let's do this!


Anonymous said...

As for the CGNA all it takes is you and two or three others to restart it is to start having meetings and start to push the snow ball down hill. It will pick up speed on it own. The CGNA is not a one person organization. Some of the original members of the CGNA only need to be called and watch what happens

Katia said...

Absolutely. That is what I just wrote to someone on Facebook.
We just need a place to meet.

Anonymous said...

CGNA has become a joke. It's a cat message board (literally)!

Katia said...

Agreed, but we can improve it or start a new one.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of the lost cats, dogs and used furniture by getting a new web site. elected new officers. The old ones are dead as far as heads of an organization goes. For meeting space first try IND or the library. You know how to do it, don't wait for others

Steve Manes said...

Hi, fellow Brooklyn blogger! I wrote a little tribute to you on my blog, BrooklynRowHouse. Thanks for shedding some daylight where daylight was sorely needed.


Katia said...

Steven this is amazing. I am speechless and so so touched. Thank you so much for your kind words and for highlighting me on your blog.

Biraz Turk said...

I think Katia would be too modest to post this so I will:

jqb said...

This modest post will just bring you more accolades. Get used to it, mensch. :-)

Jimmy From Brooklyn said...

Speaking of representing us- how is no one running against Brad Lander? We should all write in Katia's name today when we vote!

Katia said...

Biraz Turk, you know me well.