Frustration and tired of being tired led to the birth of Canarsie Strong.
Two former Acorn community organizers who lived in Canarsie at the time of the Sandy disaster; oneliving in the flood zone and the other lived adjoining to the flood zone. The frustration of many residents was caused by the inept delivery of services, equipment and resources, lack of communication and the abysmal leadership of the local coalition. Having seen the benefits of community organizing and engagement done honestly, it was very heart breaking to standby helplessly as the community was being fractured and honest opportunities for engagement squandered. This even after the tremendous effort of Senator Sampson and his skeleton staff.
Foresee Corporation, also known then as the Canarsie Commerce and Community Coalition, whose mission was to creation a greener, resilient and more sustainable Canarsie to improve trade, commerce, cultural and recreational and a vibrant financially and provide financial assistance in the area. This was the efforts of Canarsie Strong co-Founder Debbie Tiamfook and Rabbi Yosef “Yossi”, Congregation Sfaard.
The Foresee Corporation held 21 meetings from 10/30/13 to 5/8/14.
- Through the Foresee Corporation we were able to provide residents with a series of disaster preparedness workshops and interior / exterior urban gardening resiliency, food, health & wellness workshops with Sebert Harper—a horticulturist, drawing in over 200 people for homeowners forum, and held 21 public meetings.
- Canarsie Blooms: Began on April 27, 2014 as a community garden with the purpose of bringing neighbors together for a clean, healthier, and greener Canarsie.
- Solar Panels: Rebuilding Together gave 50 solar powered lights to Canarsie Strong for the purpose of distributing them to 50 homes to address safety concerns in the community.
- Tax Abatement Petition: A Canarsie resident discovered through a news article that Canarsie pays higher property taxes than Prospect Heights. Through this discovery Canarsie Strong used the expertise of a tax specialist to investigate this issue and held an event to inform residents on how their taxes worked. They were able to send 150 petitions to the commissioner of taxation. The estimated value of the property in Canarsie was undervalued. Eligible homeowners had their taxes reduced in Canarsie by 500- 600 dollars on average.
- Town Hall Meeting: A public forum held on August 24, 2014 where 66 members attended. Canarsie residents asked questions related to Sandy and resiliency to elected officials lick the Brooklyn Borough President, the Mayor’s Office of Recovery, Councilman Maisel, Senator John Sampson, Assemblyman Perry, Sandra Chapman, Gardy Brazela, Harold Jones, Rabbi Hecht and many others.
- HPD Event: 10 City Agencies shared information about homeowner services for residents. There were over 100 residents in attendance.