June 11, 2020
Community Board Five Statement of Solidarity to Protest Racial Injustice
Over the last two weeks, thousands of people within our community have peacefully gathered in solidarity to protest racial injustice. Manhattan Community Board Five stands with our community to demand meaningful change in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others.
In New York, in the five years since the killing of Eric Garner for selling loose cigarettes, there has been no meaningful systemic reform of the police department. We have one of the most segregated public school systems in the country. According to the Municipal Art Society, New York City’s housing stock is the fourth-most segregated in America. And communities of color are dying from COVID-19 in disproportionate numbers.
The peaceful protests for change demand a response.
Community Board Five pledges to do our part in our district through our work with our community, stakeholders, and Board members and to commit to supporting those whose voices have been silenced and lives and work affected by the pervasiveness of systemic racism.
As always, we are here to represent all residents, workers, and stakeholders in our district, and to advocate for what is in the best interests of the public. We will continue to fight for more equitable housing and land use policies, social services commensurate with need, and advocating for a more just economic policy in the City’s budget.
It is essential that we actively create this more inclusive and just society through our actions. Accordingly, CB5 commits to exploring the issues around social justice and equity in our district, and plans to hold inclusive conversations which will be the building block of our efforts to support change.
We will continue to maintain an open forum to hear the concerns of the public and engage with the administration, City agencies and other entities to exact the strongest possible solutions for social justice for our district. To that end, we will be working to identify effective ways to engage more deeply with the public on these issues in the coming weeks. We also must examine our implicit biases, in ourselves individually and in our institutions, including Community Board Five. We are open to learning and developing best practices for deepening the integrity and equity of our systems and procedures, so that we may participate in the strongest possible way in the fight for an equitable and just city.