North Brooklyn Community Update: 11/27

Hey neighbors,

Happy November! A lot of nice things have happened in our neighborhood since we checked in last month :) 

Given the reason for the long weekend, we’d like to acknowledge with gratitude the land we all currently live and operate as a mutual aid group on, the occupied territories of the Canarsie Lenape people, who have been stewards of this land for generations.

Our Halloween event at McGolrick Park had a large (and masked) turn out, which helped us raise $1,700 for North Brooklyn Mutual Aid! Thank you to everyone who came out, both attendees and volunteers alike. We needed that little dose of joy before the winter!

On Election Day, a team of neighbors went to six polling locations in our neighborhood handing out granola bars, PPE, and coffee to our amazing poll workers and people waiting in line to vote. The morning after election results were certified over 50 volunteers with our very own North Brooklyn Stewards showed up to clean McCarren Park and the surrounding streets and plazas. 

NBKMA TO DATE:

  • More than 1,000 active volunteers (!)

  • Nearly 50,000 lbs of compost 

  • Over $40,000 in donations via Open Collective

  • Over 600 pieces of winter clothing collected for neighbors in need

  • More than 40 stories documented through NBK Narratives

  • Over 12,000 masks delivered in partnership with Face Mask Aid

  • Over 1,000 neighbors on our community slack with 51 new members in the last week

  • 14 community initiatives and counting 

CALLS TO ACTION 🔊

  • Say No to the North Brooklyn Pipeline! National Grid has continued to push through construction of their widely-opposed fracked gas pipeline in North Brooklyn, despite massive opposition from the public and North Brooklyn elected officials. In spite of multiple community shut downs of construction which led to 12 arrests, fracked gas will soon be flowing through phases 1-4 of the pipeline in Brownsville, Bed Stuy, Bushwick and Williamsburg. And National Grid continues to push for a rate hike to pay for the pipeline including phase 5 through Greenpoint which would connect to their fracked gas storage facility, which they are also proposing to expand, on Newtown Creek. This pipeline continues a racist legacy of environmental injustice and goes against NYC and NYS climate laws. Call Governor Cuomo at 866-739-8818 and submit a comment to the PSC telling them to shut down the pipeline and deny National Grid's egregious rate hike. 

  • Save Our Community Compost! Big Reuse is currently facing eviction by the Parks Department who plans to turn their site under the Queensboro Bridge into a parking lot 😠 We are asking people to write a letter to Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver urging him to reverse the eviction and support compost in NYC. Big Reuse processes ALL OF THE SCRAPS we collect through NBK Compost Project, as well as those collected at McCarren Park on Saturdays--it's critical that they are able to stay on their site. Help us prevent the eviction of this highly functional and efficient compost yard!

Open Collective Fundraising

Our Open Collective donation page makes it easy to support all of NBKMA's different initiatives with a tax-deductible contribution. From providing hygiene kits for our unhoused neighbors, to continuing community compost, to delivering groceries and supplies for neighbors in need; community donations make this work possible! Thank you to everyone who has contributed, along with the local businesses who've supported our work 💞

How to help: Though every donation has impact, sustaining monthly donations are especially helpful for long-term planning. A special thank you to all our sustaining donors, and if you're able, we'd love your support as a sustaining member today!

Volunteer Dispatch

Thanks to our volunteers and the coordination of the dispatch team, we’ve onboarded over 1,000 volunteers as of this week! We’ve also been able to help our partners at St. Stephen Outreach, North Brooklyn Angels, Nuestros Niños, CEC14, UnCommon Schools, and the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families prepare, cook, and distribute 30 donated turkey meal baskets and hundreds and hundreds of hot meals for Thanksgiving!

How to help: Visit https://northbrooklynmutualaid.org/Volunteer to tell us more about your  interests and skills–and tell your NBK friends! There is a particular need for St. Stephen’s newly reopening soup kitchen and ongoing food pantry.

✨We’re excited to welcome two new initiatives!✨

Toy Drive

We are partnering with the staff of Paulie Gee's Slice Shop on a holiday toy drive, for families in need in our community. New, unwrapped toys may be dropped off at the Slice Shop beginning Friday, Nov. 27 through Sunday, Dec. 20. Monetary donations can be made through Venmo (@NBKToyDrive) or North Brooklyn Mutual Aid Open Collective. All donations will be distributed via community partners, including Lindsay Park Houses & Workers' Justice Project

How to help: We will need drivers to pick up toys from the Slice Shop and drop off with community partners and help flyering. Contact Shana if you'd like to help out —> shana.kimball@gmail.com

North Brooklyn Mutual Aid Book Club

What is mutual aid? How does it differ from charity? How can we work better together, and foster solidarity and grassroots power now and for our future? Join mutual aid activists in New York and beyond to read and discuss scholar and activist Dean Spade’s Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During this Crisis (and the Next) 📖

How to help: Join us on Zoom every other Wednesday at 7:30pm for 5 sessions beginning December 2nd. Visit tinyurl.com/NBKMABookCLub for more info, or contact benjaminadam2971@gmail.com

North Brooklyn Compost Project

collects food scraps from North Brooklyn residents. Did you know that the city has stopped collecting compost? Food scraps (no meat, no dairy!) can be dropped off every Sunday from 10AM-1PM in McGolrick Park and 12pm-3pm in Cooper Park. Follow @nbkcompost and @bkscrapshuttle on Instagram! 🐛

How to help: Big Reuse and the Lower East Side Ecology Center face eviction and uncertainty at the hands of NYC Parks and the City. Sign this petition to tell the Parks Department to save community compost sites!

Greenpoint Community Fridge

In a country that throws away upwards of 30% of its food supply, Greenpoint Community Fridge helps get food into the hands of neighbors to fight food insecurity. Since our October newsletter, winterized structures have been built for both the Greenpoint (17 Nassau Ave) and Cooper Park (76 Kingsland Ave) fridges. 

How to help: Fundraisers happen regularly which you can find more info about on Instagram. If you want to get involved, Venmo @NBkFridges or reach out → greenpointfridge@gmail.com

North Brooklyn Housing Defense

offers support and solidarity in an effort to build power among residential tenants at risk of eviction. Members of this initiative respond to requests for housing assistance by establishing meaningful relationships with tenants in need in our community, both during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, volunteers have been flyering to build solidarity and connect with rent-stabilized tenants on Huron Street. Special shout-out to Zoe K. for leading that charge!

How to help: Housing Defense is currently seeking someone with Instagram skills and passion for housing advocacy to run the instagram account. To get involved or seek support, contact nbkhousingdefense@gmail.com or call 732-963-1309. 

Essentially Open North Brooklyn

provides updates on local bars & restaurants. Check out recent updates, or submit updates online for your local business! 

How to help: Volunteers are needed to call/ask local businesses for updated hours, particularly those with little social media presence. We need help especially in East and South Williamsburg! Submit updates online for your local business!

North Brooklyn Narratives 

is a volunteer-led oral history initiative which seeks to collect and preserve accounts of life in Greenpoint & Williamsburg in 2020, covering topics like: the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter Uprising, and other experiences of this extraordinary historical moment. After conducting over 40 interviews, NBK narratives will begin transcribing. Get in touch if you'd like to be on the transcription team and help create a new historical resource for your neighbors!

How to help: In search of a fun winter activity? NBK Narratives is looking for neighbors to conduct interviews over zoom, and is still soliciting submissions (writing, art, poetry, humor etc.) for their Quarantine Zine. This collection will be a fundraiser for North Brooklyn Mutual Aid. Sign up/submit by email: nbknarratives@gmail.com

Hygiene Kits

has canceled our in-person group hygiene kit build this month due to Covid safety concerns, but we're very excited to start building hygiene kits remotely at home! We will be conducting our first remote at-home hygiene kit build at the beginning of December--each volunteer will be given the supplies to build 25-50 kits in the comfort of their home. We're also looking forward to conducting a hygiene product drive, hosted by our friends at OnlyNY on Franklin St. They will be helping us collect individual donations of hygiene products (ie. those hotel toiletries you've never thrown away!) to be distributed in the hygiene kits. Keep an eye on their Instagram for more info.

How to help: Sign up for our volunteer list if you want to help build hygiene kits at home, or donate via venmo @ HygieneKitsNBK. We're still shy of our fundraising goal for our next build--please spread the word! 💸

Free Store

is exactly what you might imagine; a place where things are free to take and free to give! Free store has grown to 4 locations in Brooklyn (S 2nd & Havemeyer/150 Greenpoint Ave/Graham Ave & Richardson St/Graham Ave & Newton St) Find them on Instagram at @nbkfreestore and visit the highlights section for more details. To donate funds: Venmo @nbkfreestore//PayPal NbkFreeStore@gmail.com

How to help: Transportation and volunteers are needed-please email NBKFreeStore@gmail.com to get involved. Donated goods are always accepted, either placed directly at a site or daily at Quimby’s Bookstore. Specific needs include: home, school & art supplies, canned & dry food (NO GOYA) clothing, books and toys 🛍

Winter Clothing Drive: 

Our winter clothing drive was a great success. Over 4 weeks we collected 150 coats, 120 hats, 60 gloves, 120 sweaters, hoodies, and jackets, 60 warm scarves, 80 pairs of socks, and 35 pairs of warm pants for our neighbors. Most were distributed through the BRC Men's Shelter and Worker's Justice Project. We've also been distributing directly to our neighbors in need with the help of our friends at the Brooklyn Community Kitchen.

How to help: Have a winter coat you’d still like to donate? Email greenpointhelpers@gmail.com with the subject line: “We Keep Us Warm” to arrange a pickup or dropoff

NBK Stewards

The past month NBK Stewards has been partnering with North Brooklyn Parks Alliance to help winterize the Under the K Bridge Park. We've continued on with our Sunday clean-ups in McGolrick Park, battling the falling leaves to turn them into mulch. The Sunday after the presidential election was called and the whole city celebrated, we showed up to clean up our shared spaces in McCarren Park, Berry Street, the Lot Radio and McGolrick Park.

How to help: Though we may be winding down in the next month due to the cold weather, keep an eye on our instagram @nbkstewards to stay in the loop ➰ 🍂

If there’s anything we can do to help you or your neighbors, please fill out our Request Form. You can also reach us at greenpointhelpers@gmail.com or call our voicemail system at 646-389-6016.

Warmly,

North Brooklyn Mutual Aid team

North Brooklyn Mutual Aid is a grassroots, volunteer-led network of neighbors supporting neighbors in need and building a more sustainable, equitable community. 

Stay informed on all things North Brooklyn Mutual Aid by following us on Instagram, connecting to our Slack Hub or joining our Facebook group