This is unusual given that CB3 members vote for the chair — it's not any kind of general election for residents. (By the way, the vote is tomorrow night.)
However, The Villager feels strongly that change is needed at the top. Gigi Li, who has served two one-year terms as chairperson, is running for re-election to a third term. Chad Marlow, a CB3 board member for two years, is opposing her.
There is a lot at stake, namely, the future direction of the board and, thus, of the neighborhood.
The newspaper lays out recent incidents, such as Li's decision to suspend the LES Dwellers from meetings, that have marred CB3's reputation. In addition, another board member said that Li failed to appoint any Black or Latino members as the chair of a committee, subcommittee or task force.
CB3 is clearly in disarray, and there is a growing sense of disconnect with the community that it is supposed to serve.
There is a strong sentiment for change, both within the community and on CB3.
CB3 has fallen into a rut, and the community has lost trust that their voices are being heard. And, in the case of the LES Dwellers, their voice was actually silenced by the board for a period of time. This is not community democracy the way it’s supposed to work.
And so The Villager is strongly supporting Marlow as the new CB3 chair — "For the good of the community board and of the neighborhood."
While we have never personally met Marlow, he has been a frequent and credible source of information to us through the years. (He is one of the few CB3 members who doesn't seem to adopt a bunker mentality with the press, as The Villager noted.)
Among Marlow's accomplishments: Successfully spearheading the Alphabet City-Tompkins Square Slow Zone ... and forming the Tompkins Square Park & Playgrounds Parents’ Association to help curb the rat population in the Park.
And last year, Marlow launched the crowdfunding campaign that raised nearly $19,000 for the family of gravely injured East Village Farm and Grocery worker Akkas Ali.
Back to The Villager:
[W]e’re impressed by his record of accomplishment, and we feel, were he elected, he simply would — get things done, and that he would get the right things, positive things done. In short, he is more activist and energetic than Li, and that’s what we need.
Li won the election. Read more about it here.