BP Reynoso taps high-achieving Brooklynites for new charity

June 13, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
Antonio Reynoso. Photo courtesy of Reynoso's office
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Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso on Monday announced the launch of Brooklyn for All, Inc. (BFA), his city-affiliated charitable corporation. 

According to a statement from the Borough President’s Office, “BFA aims to promote the cultural diversity of Brooklyn through services, events and programming that support Brooklyn’s residents, businesses, community-based civil and cultural institutions, and the community-at-large to enhance the lives of Brooklynites. BFA will achieve this primarily through fundraising activities and organizational support.”

In doing so, he follows in the footsteps of previous borough president. Now-Mayor Eric Adams had the One Brooklyn Fund, which he established to “support free services, programs and events in Brooklyn for all residents, visitors and especially underserved communities.” 

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Directly before Adams, former Borough President Marty Markowitz had not one, but four charities: Best of Brooklyn; Camp Brooklyn, which sent low-income children to camp; and two charities to promote summer concerts, one in Crown Heights and the second in Coney Island.

Several of the board members chosen by Reynoso should be familiar to long-time observers of the Brooklyn scene. Among them are Dr. Debbie Almontaser, the founding principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy, the first Arabic-themed public school in New York City; and Peter Restler, a retired chair of an investment fund and the father of Councilmember Lincoln Restler.

“I was elected as the president of the greatest borough in the world eager to enhance the borough’s future by tackling massive issues we’ve been faced with, including closing crisis-level maternal mortality rates, advocating for more affordable, high-quality housing, supporting the creation of more high-paying jobs, reducing the gun pandemic, making our borough greener, cleaner, and more sustainable and so much more. But we mustn’t forget all of the incredible qualities of Brooklyn that begin and end with our diversity, culture and energy,” said Reynoso. 

“As an educator, non-profit leader and authority on cross-understanding, I am exceptionally proud to work with other board members – together representing all corners of the borough – to amplify and uplift the vast diversity of Brooklynites,” said Almontaser, who serves as chair of Brooklyn for All. 

“Knowing Antonio for nearly a decade, I have seen firsthand his dedication to progress. He has been a tireless champion for improved maternal health care, safe open streets, environmental equity, and a more prosperous future for our borough,” said Vice President and Secretary Jenna Bimbi,  who is the founder and executive director of New York Birth Control Access Project. 

Dr. Debbie Almontaser, chair of Brooklyn for All. YouTube photo

“I am really excited to be part of Brooklyn for All as a Founding Director and Treasurer, and feel privileged to be working alongside an outstanding group of fellow directors,” said Board Treasurer Restler, who retired in 2021 after working in finance for five decades.

Other directors are:

  • Jon-Paul A. Bernard, a partner at a law firm focused on joint ventures and financial services mergers and acquisitions. 
  • Rasmia Kimani-Frye, is the interim executive director of Hester Street, an urban planning, design and development non-profit. 
  • Deborah Lauter, an attorney and former executive director of the NYC Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes.
  • Dr. Jocelynne Rainey, Ed.D., the executive director of the Brooklyn Community Foundation. She also serves as member and trustee of various boards of NYC-based organizations.
  • Lisette Nieves, president of the Fund for the City of New York, who has also held leadership positions in the municipal and federal government.  
  • Shelley Worrell, is a cultural entrepreneur who led the movement to name Brooklyn’s Little Caribbean, to support and celebrate Caribbean American communities and culture.

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