This is a letter that we received today from Greenpoint Williamsburg Watchdogs:
Dear Friends and Neighbors of Greenpoint/Williamsburg,
We are writing to you to inform you of an extremely important event that is about to take place in our community. We want to inform you as well as raise concern for what is about to happen to GWAPP and their plan to change structure and remove their organizational members.
Historically, GWAPP was Greenpoint Williamsburg Against the Power Plant. It was set up to fight the power plant, and was made up of a vast group of community organizations. For those who remember and for those who don’t know, GWAPP worked hard and won against eventually two power plants. For this reason GWAPP became a strong entity for community activism.
Over the years GWAPP has changed from a group interacting with member organizations, to a group meeting with a select few board members, making decisions for this neighborhood as a whole. They have continued to use the names of community groups that either no longer exist or are unaware of GWAPP’s actions in the past years. Each of these organizations should have been informed, and allowed to give input on any major issue or decisions GWAPP acts on, including any fundraising.
Unfortunately these groups have NOT been given an opportunity.
GWAPP is a members’ organization. It is supposed to represent its member organizations by allowing each of them to have one voting member vote on the election of the board of directors annually. But GWAPP has not called for, nor held elections of board members, for more than 5 years!
Past and current decisions which should have had input from member organizations were made by only a few select GWAPP board members, without the involvement of member organizations. According to the current bylaws, GWAPP is supposed to have quarterly meetings with member organizations and the public, however, quarterly meetings have not been held in several years. The meeting schedule was set up this way to be a voice of the community for power plant fights, and later for parks and planning. (GWAPP currently stands for Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks and Planning.) These meetings are the only way to keep the community informed and involved. GWAPP has not been functioning within their bylaws for several years.
Several of the member organizations listed on GWAPP’s well-maintained website and letterhead no longer exist; many more have not been active since the power plant days. The majority of the remaining organizations are headed by, or connected to, current board members who also sit on boards of several other prominent community groups such as Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn (OSA), Newtown Creek Alliance (NCA), and North Brooklyn Boat Club (NBBC). Others are possibly unaware of the meeting scheduled for March 5 that will change the GWAPP bylaws.
This is the list of “current” Member Organizations. If you are a part of one of these organizations, or know someone who is, please forward them this post. They have a vote.
As the proposed bylaws read, GWAPP is not just quietly changing its bylaws, it is actually becoming its own “private” organization, quickly, and quietly. GWAPP will no longer be made up of our local community groups and will no longer be required to involve the public in the business it is conducting under the GWAPP name. GWAPP will now hold new bylaws with no members, and only the board will make decisions that will change our neighborhood, without neighborhood input, and all in the name of GWAPP; a name that carries weight and influence. GWAPP was about the whole community and this “new” proposed organization is about a few hand-picked people.
FINE, HAVE SUCH AN ORGANIZATION BUT DON’T USE GWAPP’S NAME.