The Future of GWAPP: Become a Board Memberby on
The Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks & Planning (GWAPP), having been founded to fight a power plant proposal for the Greenpoint waterfront in 2000, is one of the oldest and most vital activist organizations in the community. Over the years, GWAPP has evolved from that single-issue focus to engaging with the wide range of parks, open space and environmental issues that affect our quality of life in Greenpoint and Williamsburg.
Why North Brooklyn Needs GWAPP
With massive-scale development now slated to break ground in several sites on the waterfront; Superfund cleanup underway on the Newtown Creek; and the promised parks (from the 2005 Waterfront Rezoning Agreement) far from a reality—to name a few of the pressing issues—our community needs vigilant activist engagement more than ever. GWAPP has always been comprised of community residents who want to be involved in these local issues—at first, as an association of member organizations, and more recently, as an association of individuals.
Both the logistical difficulty of gathering a regular quorum from more than 40 local organizations four times a year, and creating the necessary consensus on a broad array of issues (as opposed to the galvanizing single issue of defeating the power plant proposals) made the membership format unwieldy for a small, all-volunteer organization to sustain.
As a result, last winter, the Board drafted a new set of by-laws (particularly specifying a non-membership structure) and voted to present the new bylaws to our Member Organizations. At the same meeting, the Board voted to dissolve the existing Board and appoint three members to a transition team tasked with creating a new board. Letters were then sent to each Member Organization explaining the new proposed bylaws and, on March 5th, GWAPP hosted a meeting to discuss and vote on the new by-laws. The vote for new by-laws passed, giving the new board-directed structure a fresh start.
The transition committee (a/k/a the Nominating Committee) is now actively looking to re-populate GWAPP’s Board (a minimum of 5 people is required) and is interested in talking with any community member who is committed to protecting and improving our neighborhoods and subscribes to GWAPP’s focus on parks, open space and the environment.
Once a new Board is in place, it will look at ways to involve and engage volunteers and (non-Board) community members in the work of the organization on specific issues, such as over-development, lack of parks and open space, environmental issues, as well as issues related to the transparency and governance of the organization itself.
GWAPP does not purport to represent the community as a whole but through its outreach (GWAPP has organized many “town halls” and issue-oriented forums), communications (gwapp.org is a robust online forum), and, moreover, by attending countless civic meetings, researching issues, maintaining relationships with city agencies, and staying in close contact with our elected officials, GWAPP tries to be an informed source of information and voice for our particular focus on our neighborhood’s parks and open space issues. We have always stood for the proposition that information is power, and that power makes our community strong. We hope that you will join us as either an individual member or as an active board member helping to fulfill our mission.
Join the GWAPP Board
Board members will sit for three-year terms and will be responsible for helping further the mission of maximizing parks and open space in the community. An ideal board member would have experience in any of the following: finance, law, fundraising, community activism, or graphic design. Even without those specific skills, we need community members who are engaged and passionate about open space and environmental issues affecting Greenpoint.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible if you are interested in becoming part of this dynamic community organization. Please give us a brief background about yourself and describe what issues in North Brooklyn are most important to you.
Odd as it may seem, “the change” in Greenpoint hasn’t even happened yet. With massive high-rise development poised to break ground, we need dedicated, informed, passionate individuals to help us fight for open space and against the environmental degradation that has been a hallmark of Greenpoint’s industrial history.
Now is the time to get involved. The battle hasn’t even started. The work is at hand.