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Locals Want CB2's Website to Reflect the Tech-Savvy Nabes it Serves

By Janet Upadhye | March 15, 2013 9:05am
 Community Board 2's website has not been updated in two years.
Community Board 2's website has not been updated in two years.
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DNAinfo/Janet Upadhye

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Brooklyn's Community Board 2 website needs a major upgrade, locals complained.

The site was last updated two years ago and does not reflect meeting minutes, upcoming meeting information, nor any current local happenings.

"That site is the first point of contact for anyone in the community who wants to get involved, attend meetings, or generally be aware of what is happening," said Clinton Hill local Daniel Kalick. "Without updated information, there is little chance of engagement and accountability."

Of Brooklyn's 18 community boards only five, including CB2, have websites that are not current — others emcompass East New York, East Flatbush, Canarsie, and Sheepshead Bay.

And given that CB2 covers not only the tech-forward community of DUMBO but also the entire Tech Triangle which includes Downtown Brooklyn and the Navy Yard, community members expect the site to be more reflective of the digitally-driven community.

"CB2's failure in digital communications is also somewhat ironic given that the board represents DUMBO, which, more than any other part of Brooklyn, has become a hub for digital agencies," Kalick said.

Danelle Davis, a Wallabout resident, was eager to voice her urgent nabe concerns to the community board. When she could not find information about the upcoming general board meeting online she asked board members directly at a committee meeting. They also did not know and directed her to the website. Eventually, Davis said, she got a hold of someone on the phone at the office who told her where and when the meeting would be.

"It was frustrating and very disheartening," she said. "We not only want to let our concerns be heard, we also want to contribute and be a part of our community."

Davis agreed that the nature of the neighborhoods encompassed in CB2 call for more of an online, and social media, presence.

Increasingly other community boards are getting chatty online. Bedford-Stuyvesant's Community Board 3 gives regular updates on their Facebook page while Flatbush's Community Board 14 is tweeting up a storm on Twitter.

But crickets are chirping at CB2's online headquarters.

District Manager Robert Perris says that he does not have the resources to update the site. He personally created the site in February of 2011, but with little time and money, he has been unable to increase CB2's online presence since.

But he is hopeful for change.

"CB2 is currently is working on forming a 501(c)(3) ‘friends of’ group and I hope that will allow the board to fundraise to hire additional staff or consultants," he said.