So when the city began dumping garbage bags in the middle of his neighborhood in 2000, he was compelled to address the issue.
“This made me come out of my shell,” Minor said. After speaking with the Department of Health, he managed to have the garbage cans removed, as well as have a garbage chute put in place.
He soon attended paralegal school and used his extensive knowledge of the law to fight for the rights of local residents as a community advocate at Reality Housing, a nonprofit organization in Astoria.
Today, he specifically fights to ensure opportunities for employment for low-income residents.
“It must be known that there are laws that protect those that are seeking employment in the city,” Minor said, referring to Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Act of 1968 and the Vicinity Hiring Act passed in 2012.
These pieces of legislation attempt to foster local economic development and self-sufficiency. The 1968 Act, for example, requires recipients of certain types of HUD funding to prioritize providing job training, employment, and contracting opportunities for low-income residents in connection to activities in their neighborhoods.
Minor works with companies on construction projects, such as with Lincoln Equities on the ongoing Astoria waterfront project, to ensure that community residents are employed both in the construction and operation phases.
If a business fails to comply, Minor tries pursuing legal means.
“We might have to file a temporary restraining order to say, ‘Hey there’s no more construction until we go to court,’” Minor said.