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Councilmember At Large
YOUTH & SENIOR SERVICES CENTER  It’s been several years since the YMCA closed its doors. The YMCA Board of Directors along with local officials failed to develop strategic plans to keep the YMCA doors open. Previously, the vibrant and busy YMCA is now a mammoth eyesore. As of today, the YMCA building is in tremendous disrepair.  The Potter House Church, the current building owner, has tried to garner community support in order to renovate the existing structure. The Dutchess County Legislature, Rob Rolison and Barbara Jeter-Jackson, helped to set aside $1 million in the county’s Capital budget to help develop a youth center in the City of Poughkeepsie.  Promises of funding were made and unfortunately, nothing has materialized. Prior to moving forward, I would ask the Common Council to commission a Youth Center Task-Force that will call together various community leaders, grant funders, non-profit organizations, city recreation department, and the Poughkeepsie School District to find grants and other resources to identify and create space for youth programming and services. As a youth service provider, Director of YouthBuild/AmeriCorps Program, I know many of the various needs and services to help our challenged city youth. I am very familiar with the various programs, services, and recreational activities that exist for our youth and seniors.  I would draw on my very eclectic community service volunteer experience on various non-profit Board of Directors and agencies to help shape the city’s vision and efforts to develop a city-wide Youth Services and Community Recreation plan. This plan would help us to prioritize the various services and opportunities for our youth and residents.  In closing, we need to plan and “think” outside the box in order to address this emerging priority. We cannot afford to have our youth (ages 14-24) sit idly by and wait for employment and training opportunities. We will need to focus their efforts on positive youth activities and self-empowerment. We must invest our resources, time, and energy towards improving the lives of our youth in order to improve our city’s families and communities.
Issues