District 47
Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Gravesend, Bensonhurst

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District 47, Domenic Recchia
445 Neptune Avenue, Brooklyn 11224
City Hall: (212) 788-7045
District: (718) 373- 9673
Fax: (718) 373-0195

Committee Assignments:
Small Business, Retail & Emerging Industries (Economic Development), Chair of Subcommittee Aging, member
Economic Development, member
Education, member
Oversight & Investigations, member

Losing A Home

By Joanna Sufin

Ninety-five year old Irene Gotlin waits for dinner at the end of a table, resting her wrinkled hands on a white napkin. Everyday Gotlin comes to the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged's Scheuer House senior center in Coney Island, Brooklyn to eat and socialize. Gotlin says the senior center is "her life," but for the last few months she has been worried that it will be taken away.

"I have lived my whole life. I was very useful in my time. I have paid taxes all these years, and now they want to close this place down," she says with tears in her eyes. "I have nothing if I don't have this."

Mayor Bloomberg's proposed budget would cut the Department of Aging budget by $26 million. If the budget is adopted, the Scheuer House senior center is one of the seven senior centers in the city that would have to shut down by July 1.

Director Mary Marooney says this would be devastating since many of the 500 registered members are physically unable to even cross the street and are too emotionally attached to the center to feel comfortable elsewhere.

"Here they know that someone cares. Everybody becomes one family," says Marooney. "If the mayor closes this center he will save $ 99,000 -- and look what's he's doing to the seniors."

"We understand the mayor's predicaments," adds Bob Weber of the Jewish Association for the Services for the Aged, an organization that oversees 26 centers around the city. "He is trying to make the ends meet, but the seniors are a very vulnerable population."

There are currently 1.3 million senior citizens over the age of 60 living in New York City. Half of those who use senior centers live on a fixed income of $12,000 a year.

Over a hundred seniors recently gathered for dinner at the Scheur House for an afternoon meal of meatloaf, noodles and vegetables, and their reaction to the possible closing of their center ranged from dismay to anger.

"If Bloomberg is looking to cut the budget, this is not the place to start, or to end," said Al Feleman, 78. "We depend on it and I mean we depend on it. If they take it away, they will shorten our lives."

"If they close this center, where would we go?" asked Blanch Cole, 84, who is wheelchair bound and lives in the building. "There are no restaurants around here."

About 40 percent of the seniors who visit the center live in the building's upper floors, but because it is located near a bus stop the center is also convenient for many in the area.

The Scheuer House senior center serves between up to 150 meals a day. The center also offers a schedule of events. The month of May is filled with sing-alongs, folk dancing, basic English lessons, arts and crafts, stamp club, old time movies, bingo, and a trip to Atlantic City.

According to Pat Wilks, the director of public affairs at the Department for the Aging, the Scheuer House and the other six centers are slated for closure because they are underutilized and located near other senior centers.

Marooney of the Scheuer House replies that the Surf Solomon senior center ac ross the street already serves about 300 people a day and can not accommodate everyone in the area.

"The city should not assume that someone else should help these citizens," said Bobbie Sackman of the Council of Senior Centers and Services, an advocacy group. "The seniors' mobility is limited and their world is ten blocks in radius. If the center were to close, the seniors would stay home rather to look for a new place."

Community Boards for District 47
Community Board No. 11
2214 Bath Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11214
(718) 266-8800
Mr. Wm. Guarinello, Chair
Mr. Howard Feuer, District Manager
Community Board No. 13
2900 W. 8th St., Brooklyn, NY 11224
(718) 266-3001
Mr. Mitchell Wesson, Chair
Mr. Chuck Reichenthal, District Manager
Community Board No. 15
Kingborough Community College, 2001 Oriental Blvd., F. Cluster, Brooklyn, NY 11235
(718) 332-3008
Ms. Anne M. Dietrich, Chair
Ms. Paula Lupka, District Manager

Ethnic Makeup and Political Registration

Ethnic Makeup

Political Registration

Public Schools

Elementary Schools

Middle Schools

High Schools

To find out what school district you live in, call the Board of Education at 718-935-2000 or link to Public School Reports

Police Precincts

Although many precincts cover areas solely within one City Council district, there are many which overlap with other districts. In most cases the overlap of precincts among districts is no more than a few blocks. Wherever there is overlap, we have made sure to alert you.

City Parks
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Learn more about the condition of the city parks in your district at the New Yorkers for Parks (PDF file).

Community Gardens

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Find out more about community gardens from
the Council on the Environment of New York City

Historic Districts and Landmarks
Learn more about the historic districts and landmarks in this area.

The Waterfront

map listing suggestions for use and improvement of the waterfront in this district from the Metropolitan Waterfront
Alliance. (pdf format only)