Be a part of the next fifty years of the WRBA
by Ed Wendell
Jan 12, 2022 | 279 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Martin Colberg, incoming president of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, is always the first to roll up his sleeves when work is to be done. Here he is with Raquel Olivares of the Woodhaven Business Improvement District at a recent cleanup sponsored by the WBID.
Martin Colberg, incoming president of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, is always the first to roll up his sleeves when work is to be done. Here he is with Raquel Olivares of the Woodhaven Business Improvement District at a recent cleanup sponsored by the WBID.
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Martin Colgerg (right) and Stephen Forte, the current and former presidents of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, manning the barbecue at a summer cookout for the veterans of American Legion Post 118 in Woodhaven.
Martin Colgerg (right) and Stephen Forte, the current and former presidents of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, manning the barbecue at a summer cookout for the veterans of American Legion Post 118 in Woodhaven.
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The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association will mark a half-century of service when the group launches a new year this Saturday, with the first of 12 monthly gatherings to discuss the well-being of our community.

The WRBA was formed 50 years ago in 1972. Its official stated purpose at the time remains its mission today: “to foster an interest in civic, social and political affairs."

The WRBA advocates on behalf of the residents of Woodhaven, promotes neighborhood spirit by bringing together residents and local leaders, and seeks to engage all in the betterment of our community.

This first meeting of 2022 will take place this Saturday, January 15, at noon at Emanuel United Church of Christ at 93-12 91st Avenue at the corner of 91st Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard.

Our city and our neighborhood is in a precarious position right now. Although crime stats aren't at the levels they were in the bad old days of this city, the streets have never seemed less safe.

Part of that is due to social media, where every single little thing gets blown out of all reasonable proportion. But a good deal of that perception comes from the very real-life attacks that citizens of the city are subject to every single day.

These are issues that matter to us all, and if we want to get a handle on it before it starts getting worse here in Woodhaven, we need much more community involvement and interaction.

Complaining and grousing on Facebook is not the answer. All you’re doing is venting and giving yourself some very temporary relief. The fact is, however, that if you are not part of the solution, then your lack of involvement is part of the problem.

These meetings bring together our elected representatives, those people who have been chosen by we the people to advocate on our behalf. They are taking time from their busy schedules to attend these meetings to hear what the people have to say. If you don’t show up, they can’t hear you.

But I don’t want to give you the impression that these meetings are one long complaint session. They are also opportunities to learn about how things work in this city and why things are the way they are.

It’s also an opportunity to build relationships, and from these relationships come a stronger community. This is what the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association has been doing for 50 years now.

But along the way the involvement from our community has shrunk. If you go to meetings, if you go to neighborhood cleanups, you see the same people over and over and over again.

We have a very small pool of concerned citizens. Now that’s not to say that the rest of the residents aren’t concerned, they are. They just aren’t concerned enough; not enough to get off their butts and get involved, that is.

Prove me wrong, show up and get involved.

This Saturday the WRBA will welcome a new president, Martin Colberg, who has been part of WRBA for over ten years. He takes over from Stephen Forte, who was president these last four years.

Many thanks to Martin for taking on this responsibility, and thank you to Steve for a job well done.

For more information about WRBA, call (718) 296-3735 or email info@woodhaven-nyc.org. They send out frequent phone blasts to announce meetings or events, and they also keep in touch with everyone via email.

Make it your New Year’s Resolution for 2022 to channel some of your frustrations and complaints about your community into something good. Don’t wait for later, the time is this Saturday.

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