Members of Community Board 7 invited Teamsters Local 237 President, Gregory Floyd, to address a special session of its Task Force on Public Housing. The Community Board, which serves people on the Westside of Manhattan from 59th Street to 110th Street, has 16 NYCHA developments within its jurisdiction.
The 59 Community Boards throughout the City function as an advisory body reporting to the City Council and the Mayor. They are mandated by the City Charter to give advice and oversight on issues pertaining to land use, zoning, the City budget and delivery of municipal services.
Community Boards consist of up to 50 unsalaried members, each appointed by the President of the Borough they serve, with half of them nominated to the position by Council Members representing that district.
Community Board 7 has only two of its members living in NYCHA developments, prompting Madelyn Innocent, Chair of the Task Force, to extend the invitation to Mr. Floyd in an effort to shed light on the challenges facing both the workers and residents.
According to members of the Board in attendance, the meeting, which lasted nearly two hours, was a “real eye-opener that will help us with our recommendations to the Administration on how to better serve the NYCHA community.”
Local 237 comprises the largest segment of the NYCHA workforce, one third of whom are also residents. Mr. Floyd, who was thanked for his participation in the meeting and invited back, said: “This Community
Board represents a very diverse population. It contains numerous apartment buildings, but obviously, not all of them are alike. I applaud Board 7 members for reaching out to us to gain a better understanding of life for those who live and work in public housing. It is a significant first step that has the potential to improve conditions for everyone.”
Hercules Cornish went to work for the Housing Authority as a caretaker J in 1952 and retired 24 years later as a stores worker. He died the year following this interview, which was conducted in June 1999.
Originally I was from Harlem, but when I came out of the service in 1945 my wife had moved to the Bronx, so I moved there, too. I went to work for the New York City Housing Authority in 1952.