The State of the Borough

At Bronx Community Solutions, we’re lucky to benefit from the work of four Americorps volunteers from the New York City Public Safety Corps.

Members of the Corps work full-time for a year in exchange for a small living stipend and an educational award. They conduct intakes, help our case managers with group classes and report on compliance to the court. They also participate in regular volunteer and training events.

All of our AmeriCorps members either live in the Bronx, or have family here, so we asked them to attend Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion's State of the Borough Address to give us a sense of what's going on in the Bronx.

Here's what they had to tell us. Read More.

"Going to the Bronx Borough President’s speech was an interesting experience for me. It gave me a chance to listen to some of the changes that will be happening in the community. Even some heavy hitting politicians were there like Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer.

Although I live in Harlem, I have family in the Bronx and for me to spread the word to them felt important because they have no idea about the changes happening or that will happen. Adolfo Carrion spoke about all of the new housing units being established and how many families are occupying them, the many parks they are putting into construction, equipping them with basketball courts, tennis courts and pools. Along with the new Yankee Stadium, a shopping center or mega mall will be in the area creating over five thousand jobs for people.

Something that worries me about this change is since the Bronx is becoming more built up how will it affect people in a negative way? Can people really afford "affordable housing"? Will there be equal opportunity in getting jobs? What kind of crime or police activity will these changes bring? These are just some things I thought about."

-Justin Briggs

"The Borough President spoke about changes within the Bronx and how they are part of an ongoing process throughout the years to come. He talked about new schools, youth centers, recreation, a children's museum, playgrounds, things that would better the community.

He addressed the situation with affordable housing, which we can all agree is not so easy to come by. From what I’ve heard, since 2001, $2.4 billion have been invested in the creation of nearly 28,000 units of housing but it is still not enough. The Borough President along with Council delegation and the Bloomberg administration will invest an additional $34 million in capital funds to build housing.

As we all may know to survive in New York one must have a decent job. Unemployment in the Bronx has declined by 50% from 11.3% to 5.4% and 13,000 fewer people are living in poverty. Major developments are on the way such as manufacturers, businesses, and that new Yankee Stadium, which will bring lots of employment opportunities.

After listening to the Borough President’s address, I must say I’m amazed at and changes taking place. I do believe that the Bronx is improving and will continue to do so. As long as people say there is room for improvement, the Bronx will than be a better place to reside and we’ll have a brighter future to look forward to."

-Edwin Williams

"This was the first time that I had participated in something I would say was so grand! Adolfo Carrion Jr. spoke of the Bronx and how he has been working on making it a better place for us to live. 28,000 new housing units have been constructed, 13,000 fewer people are living in poverty, 10,000 Bronx residents have successfully found jobs through small organizations that the Borough President lent money to and 2,500 families have become home owners. New parks are being built in the Bronx for our kids. A hip hop Museum is also being built and new youth centers. The Grand Concourse is being re-built, subway stations in Hunts Point and Parkchester are being rehabilitated, improvements are being made to Fordham Road and investments are being made into rebuilding bridges throughout the borough.

One thing that stood out in my mind while listening to him talk was really the dedication and love he seemed to show towards our Bronx borough. Attending and listening to Adolfo Carrion gave me a sense of empowerment. It made me feel like I need to get up and do something. I need to be more involved in my community and in my borough and in the things that are going on around me.

Being raised in the Bronx I would have loved having more things readily available for me, and having my kids grow up in a better Bronx, one that they can actually call and have feel like home makes me feel a little better. I fully support Adolfo Carrion and all the changes he is making throughout our borough. Oh, did I mention that Hilary Clinton came to show her support? Everybody get ready for the first female president! And cheers to a better Bronx."

-Caren Rodriguez

“I admire how Borough President Adolfo Carrion is trying to better inner city public schools. He strongly feels the need for a re-commitment to leadership in schools. He also feels that there is a need for an increase in police officer’s salaries. Besides the issues that Adolfo spoke about I also enjoyed seeing Hilary Clinton. I admire her as well. Overall, I enjoyed my visit to Hostos Community College and I learned a lot about issues going on in my home borough.”

-Susan Jackson