“We fight for more schools, safety issues in the neighborhood, and transportation issues,” he said. “We’re fighting for responsible development. We don’t want overdevelopment to happen in this neighborhood.”
O’Leary saw how quickly the neighborhood was changing, and wanted to keep the “community spirit” alive in Hunters Point.
“We need someone to influence how the development is happening to make sure this ends up as a community where people want to raise their families,” he said. “We don’t want this to be a commuter community where people just work and don’t settle.”
O'Leary said. One of the biggest local topics is education because of the many young families moving to the area.
“There’s still not enough schools for the younger kids, not enough pre-K classes,” he said. “There are some trailers going in down the street for a pre-K.”
Another issue is safety in their parks. Last month, the captain of the 108th Precinct led a meeting with a parks manager and others to discuss adding more officers and lighting and cutting down weeds.
The civic group has now become a forum bringing people together to discuss and advocate for important neighborhood issues, and has a growing membership of a few thousand people, O’Leary said.
It’s a mix of both longtime community residents and leaders and new families who “want to make sure this is a place where they want to raise their kids.
“It’s been a great blending of the older community who’ve been looking out for the neighborhood for a long time and a lot of younger people who are bringing new ideas to the neighborhood,” O’Leary said. “They’re both energizing each other.”
The Hunters Point Civic Association meets the second Tuesday of the month at the New York Irish Center at 10-40 Jackson Avenue.