Real Estate Experts Among New Community Board Members
KIPS BAY — New members of Community Board 6 hope to bring more affordable housing to the area, and advocate for more services for the district’s growing senior population, they said.
Pedro Carrillo, 34, who has been in the commercial real estate business for more than a decade, said he hopes his expertise will help open a line of communication between developers and the community.
He said increasing retail rents, the displacement of Mitchell-Lama residents and increasing homelessness are issues he wishes to tackle while on the board, he said.
“I understand that city needs to grow,” said Carrillo, who lives in Kips Bay with his wife. "We live in a marketed environment, but there are plenty of things that developers can do to include affordable housing, particularly in up-zoned areas.”
Meanwhile, 75-year-old Waterside resident Genevieve Cervera said that providing seniors with services and opportunities to learn and grow are an important part of what she hopes to accomplish as a member of the Health and Education committee of CB6.
Cervera left the city a few years ago and tried living in Santa Fe, N.M., and Charlotte, N.C., but ended up returning to the city when she realized it was the only place where community activism really made a difference, she said.
“I said I better go back to New York, because no one speaks my language anywhere else,” said Cervera. “You won’t find this much citizen participation in Charlotte or Santa Fe.”
Cervera, a Bronx native, has been working with seniors in various organizations, including Manhattan's Senior Planet and the Statewide Senior Action Council, to bring learning opportunities to residents over 60. Cervera, who worked in the insurance industry until she retired, hopes to advocate for the same in CB6.
“Community Board 6 has a big older-adult population,” she said. “Older people want to serve and have life-long learning opportunities. Learning at that age really invigorates people and gives them an outlet to communicate.
“I want to be part of a community where all generations can get along well.”
CB6 also welcomed two more members to the board, including Jeffrey Mailman and Gene Santoro, who were not immediately available for an interview.
“The boards play a crucial role in enhancing the quality of life in Manhattan’s many neighborhoods,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who is in charge of appointing members to all community boards in Manhattan.
“Each has its own flavor. I encourage all Manhattanites to get to know their board by attending a meeting.”
CB6 did not respond to requests for comment.