Sharon Kennedy and her husband Tom moved to Fort Greene in 1972, when they found an apartment on Carlton Avenue. At the time, Tom Kennedy was in law school and working on the McGovern campaign. Both were soon immersed in local politics and neighborhood campaigns. In the 1970s, Fort Greene was full of abandoned houses, many on the verge of being demolished by the city. A neighborhood association was trying to secure landmark designation for Fort Greene to preserve the neighborhood's nature and ensure that beautiful, old houses would not be demolished. In 1977, when Sharon was in law school, the Kennedys bought a house on South Elliott Place that they still live in. Their three children grew up in this house. Howard Weiss was leading Pratt Area Community Council when Kennedy connected with him at a community meeting.
"The community was organizing around very basic issues: foot patrols, cleaning up the park, garbage collection, and the abandoned houses," said Kennedy. She and her husband were neighborhood watch volunteers and "it was natural to get involved with PACC." It was a tough neighborhood and muggings and lootings were commonplace. Out of necessity, the residents had to come together to organize, building bonds in this close knit community.
Sat, May 1, 2010
by Michelle Etwaroo