Star of Brooklyn: Melba Brown
DEMOCRATIC DISTRICT LEADER
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Melba Brown is a state committeewoman and district leader who works extremely hard to assure that the quality of life is maintained in her neighborhood, within the 58th Assembly District, embracing parts of East Flatbush, East New York and Canarsie.
“One of the things that stands out is the medical waste transfer station that was proposed for East 96th Street,” said Brown. “That particular area has a number of senior citizens centers. We knew it would have had a negative impact on health because they’re seniors and the area was kind of depleted. We wanted to make sure it didn’t happen.”
Hard work by Brown and local activists, including the South Canarsie Civic Association, resulted in a bill being passed prohibiting such a facility from opening in such an area.
Brown explains that it takes more than one person to make a difference. It involves a team dedicated to change. “When you work together, you get things done. You have to be able to have relationships with elected officials. We are the eyes and ears of the community.”
But her responsibilities didn’t end there. She also makes sure her local polling sites are well manned and people are able to vote without conflicts. “We made sure that the volunteers were competent by having them partake in classes. And we made sure that the all the sites were wheelchair-accessible,” said Brown.
She also fought against voting suppression, which she considered a passion. “There are many ways to suppress the vote. Voters sometimes are told that they’re not in the book. So they turn away.”
PERSONAL LIFE: Brown was born in Guyana. She has degrees from both Brooklyn College and Wagner College. She is married with three children. Her second daughter served in the U.S. Army for 21 years and currently works for the ROTC program in Mississippi. Her grandchild, who Brown and her husband raised, is a teacher in Virginia. She is currently retired and lives in Canarsie.
MOTIVATION: “I just fell in love with this country and I have a passion for making sure that people work for our youth,” Brown explained.
Brown is also involved in her church community. She wants to be remembered for making a positive impact in people’s lives.
“I believe I was created for a reason,” she said, “to impart God’s love in the people that I meet.”
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