—Tiffany Murchison, President, 100 Jefferson Avenue Block Association
Civic EngagementOn the macro level, as a member of the Coalition for the Improvement of Bedford-Stuyvesant (CIBS), Bridge Street is linked to three powerful networks: the Asset Building Network, the Business Vitality Network, and the Physical Development Network. We work in partnership with other nonprofits in the Bedford-Stuyvesant community to coordinate programs and services--such as the foreclosure prevention program, "Know the Facts, Bed-Stuy."
On the micro level, Bridge Street’s Civic Engagement team works block by block to empower the people of Bedford-Stuyvesant to become active citizens fully involved in improving the quality of life in their community. To reach that goal, Bridge Street helps neighborhood residents:
- Form and strengthen tenant and block associations
- Organize safety initiatives, in cooperation with the local Police Precinct Council and the Community Board
- Plan and implement beautification and planting programs.
Transforming blighted blocks into beautiful blocks is one of Bridge Street’s goals. But reaching that goal requires more than building or rehabilitating housing stock. It requires community organizing, hard work, and a spirit of inclusion to restore a sense of community. On Jefferson Avenue, from the beginning, BSDC worked with the homeowners moving in to form a block association that clearly integrated the newcomers with the homeowners and renters already living on the block.
"Jefferson Avenue is the most culturally diverse street you could ever visit! " says Tiffany Murchison, block association president. "We have a big Caribbean population, and all kinds of racial and religious diversity: black, white, Asian, Latin, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim—including East Indian Muslims, Arab Muslims, and African-American Muslims. From one end to the other, Jefferson Avenue is a melting pot in and of itself. You get a sense of our diversity on the day of our annual block party, and the leadership of our association is just as diverse as our block.”
Today, a new sense of community is being restored in the 100 block of Jefferson Avenue, thanks to the efforts of its residents, particularly Ms. Murchison and the 100 Jefferson Avenue Block Association, with support from Bridge Street, Community Board 3, the 79th Police Precinct, and others.