WHLDC to Update Community on Implementation of Community Benefits Agreement

The West Harlem Local Development Corporation will hold its 2012 Public Meeting on October 25, updating the community on its work and accomplishments so far on the Community Benefits Agreement signed with Columbia University in May 2009.

The WHLDC is invested in the West Harlem community and wants the community to become involved in the organization as it brings improvements in the areas of employment, education and historic preservation — among other important issues — to this vibrant area. The WHLDC believes that keeping the lines of communication open with our community helps us all to work toward shared goals and visions, and the public meeting is an opportunity to do just that.

“It is a privilege and a responsibility for me to be the first Executive Director of WHLDC,” said Kofi A. Boateng. “As such, laying down systems and procedures to implement the Community Benefits Agreement is essential. The public meeting is one of several activities WHLDC shall engage in to keep information and ideas flowing.”

Mr. Boateng will outline some of the WHLDC’s accomplishments, which include helping open a cutting-edge public school and two sessions of the Summer Youth Employment Program that hired 729 young people between the ages of 14 to 24. He also will talk about the future of important projects that will inject $150 million in immediate funding into the community.

“The Public Meeting is important so that the community can understand what is involved in the benefits agreement with Columbia, what assets it brings to them and the necessity for them to become involved in the activities in the community and the WHLDC,” said Maritta Dunn, a board member.

“The community also will learn about our grant program and the procedures involved in applying for grants that will enhance West Harlem,” said Donald C. Notice, WHLDC board chairman.

The WHLDC is fully staffed and committed to working with the community and listening to residents’ ideas as we continue to fulfill the Community Benefits Agreement, and we look forward to holding many more public meetings in the future.

“The public meeting is important. It’s a continuation of conversations we’ve had with the community,” said Jeanine Johnson, a board member. “They’re going to be delighted and impressed with what we’ve done. We have exciting things planned, and our doors are always open.”

The meeting will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Our Children’s Foundation, 527 W. 125th St. Light food and drink will be served. Please R.S.V.P. with or call Natali at (646) 476-3394.

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