Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Council Member Cohen Launches "District 11 Community Activist of the Month" Award

Wakefield Parks Activist Audrey McAllister Receives Inaugural Honor

Council Member Andrew Cohen has announced that he is launching a new “District 11 Community Activist of the Month” award, and the inaugural honor will go to Audrey McAllister, a Wakefield resident.

Cohen is launching “District 11 Community Activist of the Month” for one specific purpose: to recognize individuals who have advocated successfully on community issues of concern to them. He hopes that this initiative will encourage more residents to become further engaged in the community and raise awareness that his office is a resource available to everyone.

“In devising this program, my plan is to single out residents who have pushed for, and achieved, civic
improvements, whether large or small,” said Council Member Cohen. “Audrey McAllister has modeled the type of community activism I’d like to nurture—she has persistently and thoughtfully targeted issues in Wakefield, and possible improvements that could benefit many individuals, and we were able to resolve a number of her concerns as a result of her cooperative efforts with my office. “

Cohen noted that McAllister first became involved with his district office through the Participatory Budgeting process, suggesting improvements to parks and where she voluntarily became further involved with PB serving as a budget delegate. She also attends monthly meetings of civic groups in her neighborhood, and interfaces with school groups to draw attention to issues, he added.

Citing an example, Cohen noted that McAllister proposed improvements to the Wakefield playground. He partnered with State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Assembly Member Jeff Dinowitz and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. to allocate $2.2 million in capital funds, $950,000 from Cohen, for improvements to the Wakefield playground.

Ms. McAllister has also created the Friends of Wakefield Playground advocacy group and she volunteers to maintain the Playground, one of the only public recreational spaces in the community. Additionally, she has advocated for traffic safety and other quality of life improvements in the neighborhood.

“McAllister’s efforts have resulted in a better Wakefield neighborhood,” said Cohen. “She deserves to be named ‘District 11 Community Activist of the Month’.”

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