The Jamaica Now Action Plan unveiled in April 2015 outlines 26 strategic actions for the revitalization and growth of Jamaica, Queens into a thriving residential and commercial neighborhood.
The Action Plan is a culmination of the Jamaica Now Planning Initiative and is designed to address the challenges that have faced the Jamaica area in recent years by providing workforce training and small business support, initiating new mixed-use development anchored by affordable housing, and improving the livability of the neighborhood through investments in safety measures, green spaces and more. The 21 strategic actions, 16 of which will be launched and implemented between 2015-2018, are backed by substantial public funding.
Applications for the Jamaica Now Action Plan Leadership Council are now open. All applications and attachments are due by May 31 2016.
Continued collaboration with community stakeholders is essential to ensure the Plan fulfills its mission. To this end, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz has created the Jamaica Now Leadership Council consisting of a diverse group of stakeholders to monitor the plan’s implementation, provide oversight and participate in the evaluation of the action plan. The Leadership Council will be led by community stakeholders, with the support of City Hall, and will meet no less than four times per year over the duration of the Action Plan.
The Leadership Council is as follows:
Adrienne Adams (Queens Community Board 12); Maha Akhtar (Resident); Nigel Nyrun Barker (Resident); Rhonda Binda (Jamaica Center BID); Brian Browne (St. John's University); Ricardi Calixte (Queens Economic Development Corporation); Tonya Cantlo-Cockfield (Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning); Jennifer Ching (Queens Legal Services); Salvatore D’Avola (Neighborhood Restore Housing Development Fund Corporation); Reverend Floyd H. Flake (Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York); Kevin J. Forrestal (Queens Community Board 8); Deepmalya Ghosh (The Child Center of New York); Michael Griffith (New York City Department of Transportation); Adjoa Gzifa (Resident); Tyrel Hankerson (Resident); Ian Harris (Queens Community Board 12); Cathy Hung (Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning/Jamaica Performing Arts Center); Dr. Greg M. Ilag (Resident); Derek Irby (165th Street Mall Improvement Association); Bilal Karriem (Queens Community Board 12); Malikka Karteron (Resident); Michele Keller (Business Owner); Michael X. Mattone (Commercial Property Owner/Developer); Helen Maxwell (Neighborhood Housing Services of Jamaica); Simone Price (Sutphin Boulevard BID); Justin Rodgers (Greater Jamaica Development Corporation); Pierina Ana Sanchez (Regional Plan Association); Aaron Schwartz (Commercial Property Owner); Emily Schwartz (King Manor Museum); Earl Simons (York College); Nakita Vanstory (LaGuardia Community College - Justice Community Program); Bernard Warren (Jamaica YMCA); Richard Werber (King Manor Museum); Montgomery Wilkinson (Resident); Tiffany Williams (YMCA Y-Roads Program); Dr. Tom Zlabinger (York College) and a representative of the Queens Library Central Branch.
The Leadership Council also includes the following Ex-Officio Members: U.S. Representative Gregory Meeks; State Senators Leroy Comrie and James Sanders; Assemblymembers Barbara Clark, Vivian Cook, Michele Titus and David Weprin; Councilmembers Rory Lancman, I. Daneek Miller, Donovan Richards and Ruben Wills.
The Initiative was started by Queens Borough President Katz and the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development in Spring 2014 and aimed to identify community priorities and create a coordinated and equitable community economic development strategy. The Initiative engaged community and elected leaders as well as encouraged inter-agency collaboration over the course of over 30 meetings and two public conference, culminating in the creation of the strategic Jamaica Now Action Plan.
A neighborhood-based, local stakeholder-driven approach to community development, the Initiative brought together community residents, not-for-profit and faith-based organizations, private firms, and industry experts with policymakers and city government leaders to discuss priority issues, opportunities, challenges, and project ideas to strengthen the neighborhood of Jamaica, Queens.