Dear Mr. Picente,
I write to you as a member of the Jay Street Community Garden. I have now been accepted as a voting member of the For The Good Inc. Board of Directors, and would like to request your intervention in the matter of the sale of the Linwood Place Community Garden. We feel that this “land tax sale” was immoral and is potentially litigable.
The Linwood Place and Jay Street Community Gardens have been managed by the non- profit organization For The Good, Inc. for the past 15 years. The lands for these gardens where bequeathed in perpetuity to the stewardship of For The Good Inc, under the leadership of Ms. Cassandra Harris-Lockwood by former Utica City Mayor David Roefaro.
We hope that you can use your influence to resolve the issue of the ownership and custodianship of these gardens — both the Linwood Place and Jay Street Community Gardens — such that the Black, Red, Brown, Immigrant, and Impoverished communities of Cornhill — and the residents thereof — can continue to benefit from the food, youth programs, employment opportunities, job training, community building, and education that have been direct outcomes of the ongoing work of For The Good, Inc.
Attached are various photos and videos showing the wonderful work that For The Good, Inc. has performed in the community over the past years.
I encourage you to consider an investment in the Cornhill community — as it makes all of Utica and Oneida County a more livable and workable place.
Your work in obtaining large amounts of funding indicates that you can ‘take care of business’. [The Rome-Sentinel reports that Oneida County will receive $37 million in ARP funds now; plus $22 million over time.] This funding for Oneida County shows that you are indeed watching out for certain communities in Oneida County. Sadly, we are not among them.
We request that ‘the Black and Brown community’ be part of those that you include in consideration when you vie for funding future projects. As you have reserved millions for pet projects such as the West Side Senior Citizen Center at $2.5 million, a Rome YMCA building at $2 million, and the Rome Capital Theater Renovation at $3.5 million, we feel that the Corn Hill Community should be funded to at least these levels.
We have invited you to events held at the gardens in the past, and encourage you to attend one of the events that we plan during Spring and Summer 2023. Get to know us, and take action — ‘For the Good’ of us all.
Ms. Natalie M. Williams
For The Good Inc. Board of Directors Member
Chief – Domes For The People
Exhibits for Open Letter
- Cassandra Harris-Lockwood speaks about the Linwood Place Community Garden in Utica, NY. Spring 2022: https://photos.app.goo.gl/r4vpLrMaeNzpNHTv5
- Rome-Sentinel Article: ‘Oneida County Executive Picente secures $37 million now plus $22 million later:’ https://romesentinel.com/stories/oneida-county-board-of-legislators-approve-arpa-funding-plan,156000
- Utica Phoenix Article – Community Garden Gatherings November 6-7, 2021:https://uticaphoenix.net/the-linwood-place-announcing-community-gatherings-on-november-6-7-2021/