Black Perspectives; Columbia Point
Welcome to Black perspectives the 25 minute weekly feature focusing on black issues information unless tiles of the communities abroad some of those I was sure my name is Charles Desmond your host for black perspectives tonight will be concluding the two applied discussion that we're having with the members of the Columbia Point taskforce concerning the present controversy that is surrounding the development of the Columbia Point Housing Project. In our last show we spent a considerable amount of time talking and trying to get a community perspective on the dips to discussion in the debate surrounding the selection of the contractor to develop the Columbia Point Housing Project. At that time members of the community spoke very clearly as to why they felt the. See MJ Cochran melons in Jenison group was the better group to develop the housing project from and from their point of view. Tonight I'd like to continue a little bit. On that discussion
but to focus more if we can on the present conditions in Columbia Point in some of the issues again from the perspective of community members that are. Critical and you have less that need to be addressed concerns which you are now addressing in the form of your own management group and in resolving some of the problems that can be a point again before we go into a discussion I'd like for our listening audience to let everyone know who we're tracking with in before doing that I'd like to say that we have over a hundred ten accumulated years of life experience at Columbia Point so that the people that we'll be hearing from during the economy point better than anyone else I would think first. We'll be hearing tonight from Roger Taylor who's the chairperson of the community task for us he's live at Columbia Point for more than 9000 years after Sam Torrance was the secretary to the task force is low tech on the plane for more than 21 years. Caleb cologne is the president of the Spanish Committee and also a member of the task force has lived a 20 point for for 13 years.
Greg Gregory a senior representative to the task for us for 13 years at Columbia Point Vaneta Jones administrative assistant to the task force 12 years at Columbia Point need Who's the coordinator of the director of the Columbia Point fear Daphnis and a staff member at the University of Massachusetts himself with more than 20 years at Columbia Point so that it's clear and if it's not clear to our listening audience I want you to understand that the people that we're talking with have a life investment in Columbia Point in a speaking as community residents who are concerned about their own community Rajat right to pick up with you tonight. And Joe the chairperson and you started I'm sure I'm going to ask you to kick it off again tonight. What are some of the concerns that presently are high on the task force's list of issues that which you feel need to be addressed immediately and can be pointed out some of the major problems whether some of the highlights and some of the good things about Columbia point that you think are going on right now.
I just like to say that we want to get it perfectly clear that all the things that are happening from your point is not actually be a problem. We have a drug problem there which I don't think is actually. Da J's problem. And I think this is a problem that tell us how to deal with and the task force is making plans now are to be along the lines of some of the deterioration going on your point is not actually a problem you know such as a broken one in the garbage industry. These type of things and we are in the process of. Growing educational thing where tenants are you know to upgrade our tenets so we won't be looking kind of when you read about may come in. But there are a lot of blame that lies directly home be a chain and a far reach considering that it is a management problem. Right. If we had stripped the management you know I think for them your point would be much better
place and much more desirable place and we're here now and to live in. Very good let me ask you Aster if you can tell me a little bit about rock star quality. I mean how are people in the point now. Dealing with the conditions that they're I mean do you find that last in last week's show we talked a lot about some cohesion people working together and taking a real stand in matters around their own life and in their own community. How do you feel the morale of the people at Columbia Point is and how do you think the crowd have life at this time as a Columbia Point. I think. If the proposal had come in. That morale is very high on the point. Finally on the promises that we've been hearing through the years. Then. It would be. Finally be a fact. That. We can. Have. Our province or town houses as good as anybody
else out there. Just one example. Six years ago. Ha I receive money to do rehab program called the. Tenet. Project. TPP. I can't remember the. Exact words for that. But under that program they took six. Three story buildings. And rehab. And I was one of the tenants that was relocated. Into one of these. New rehab. Apartments. And it was just. Terrible. We did get new kitchen. And. Partially new bathrooms. But everything in the new kitchen and bathroom and the RE were else in your new unit fell apart. When I say thought part if our part. From day one we put we
turn the water on in the sink. It came up in the back term. You flushed. Mood and water just went everywhere. Our new. Door bell system. Didn't work until. Worked until. About two weeks. And. That fell apart. Oh I can just go on and on and on. Then. Every everyone so discouraged it was. If you went to the HA. With a maintenance problem they would tell you we cannot do it because that is the only. Person who is under contract to do that kind of work and we have to wait for them to come back. And take care of this new water is leaking all over the place. And you're just having a. Terrible problem. The new windows the new
paneling just fell down and one tenant. In those huge big sliding window this is just unbelievable. I say it's so easy to clean but you just try lift one out of the window frame to clean it's just impossible. So most of the windows. Have never been clean and only use the six years since I've been there. No one has been able to clean. Except maybe from the inside. The problem is numerous. In that TPP program with the target project program. And. I think in every one of the units. There. What. We have. Here with major problems when they have been two plans that have been at this point that seem to be disputed. One of them is a 200 million dollar proposal of this group called Columbia associates and then there's another group that
the the B R A and the tenants are endorsing which is this Corker and moans and genocide plan which is a hundred and thirty five million dollar plan according to what I've read in the newspapers. Can can you. To a certain extent. One of the major differences from your perspective from the community's perspective and these two plans I mean why does the community feel more positive about one than the other. And I maybe we can go down here to Caleb because he's nodding as if he has some some opinions about this when we switch to care. About what's going to make it OK. I'm definitely going to see MJ. Associates do. OK let's put it this way we do have the money. To remark on your point but. There. Are Funny. Things that the people who won Columbia Point for example CMJ offers us a joint partnership with them. They. Also offer us a sense that sometimes from other things for example the
subsidy rent payments and things of that nature. From what I gather. OK. From the years that I've been American Your point is that. You know the common point community is really going to be an organize community it's not. As we say just organizing. It's been struggling throughout the years and I'm pretty sure that they are aware of what's going on and we have had a significant amount of meetings with the team with the people we have discussed both proposals from Colombia associates and CMG and from the reaction of the people. I think the CMJ is the choice simply because they are offering more in the long run than Colombia associates. It seems odd to me that they are implying that the people are. The. Columbia associates are not as responsive to what the
needs of the community members are their plan does not as we speak does not respond as well to the people who presently our economy appoint as the alternate plans. Is that what you're suggesting that the CMJ plan is. Well support the people who are presently I can be a point better than the alternative point. I would believe so yes. Let me ask you a question. Kayleigh because a lot of people have talked about the growing Hispanic community in Boston and I know that Columbia Point has a large bilingual population and you are chairing the Spanish committee at Columbia Point. How the problem is that the Hispanic community. Within Columbia Point at a more pronounced because of the language issue and how was what kind of reactions and responses are you getting outside of the tenor group which I know you are working together but outside of the tenor group what kind of assistance and help are you getting to try to address some of the concerns of the Hispanic community.
Well. I've done a lot of work with personally. And in. Various need. Through his agency has hired students from Crowley point being bilingual and I've worked with some of them and at the present time I will be working with Baroness needin some of his new employees. The communication problems with the Spanish community and counterpoint is not another which is not a big big problem. They come out they come to our community meetings they come to our security meetings and things of that nature and the world always gets around. Well I do sometimes just draft up a letter and type it out in Spanish and make sure. That. What what the issue is ok they would understand before actually going to the meeting. But then again the communication gap. Its not a gap anymore its not like. At the beginning that we would try to get. The people organize. Things that are nature. Now the Spanish committed community. There's a big.
Role one common point being that it's about 35 to 40 percent. Of the community. And they come out. And when they have to speak Believe me you were here speaking of love by me by one of my other representatives. Again it's not a lack of communications. Let me just rephrase that. Organization the community is organized. And the black aspect and also the Hispanic aspect. Right now we're learning to read more. OK as a joint member as one body. Being segregated as the present. As far as issues are concerned a common point if you go to any one of the tenets being black or spanish or whatever you would find the same problems. OK the only thing is again to rephrase that. One body of the point people are Spanish and the other body of black. Being. That. We are one community we're learning to function as one community. Everything that's been done.
What I've seen 20 years that I've grown up on the point of are so there is an isolation that is actually going on Counterpoint. I believe that to be which I don't think that we are organized but in other ways really rather like the monkeys that. One can see want can't hear any other we can't speak. OK but when it comes down. To attacking the issues OK as one body you will get 100 percent of the community people there being black Spanish. Or white. I'd like to before going any further tell our listening audience that you're listening to WM BFM at the University of Massachusetts at Boston where in the second part of our series of a discussion with representatives of the Columbia Point task for us we're discussing life in Columbia Point and. Also the present controversy that's going on concerning the selection of a developer for the new Columbia Point that's going to emerge after redevelopment. JONES You're the administrative assistant to the task force within the past but for the future what do you think
the news clearly put out for the present. The present pretend we're living in a. Better condition. Well hoping that the security will be better. One thing I would like to see happen. And this is. A current. Ongoing situation. That I haven't lived to see the. Boston Police Department. When we call for an ambulance. Or. Police car. I would like very much to see a call into the project. If a body is sick I don't see rather than a mass will stay in the bayside shopping mall and wait for a policeman or escort to come in. This is one thing I would like to see changed. I just. I really believe that when it says it's half the ground that you will see a different Columbia Point. Caleb I think I want to say something with regards to your prospects and
the direction in which we will be looked into in the years ahead. When I. Have time to say don't come to a bad price point. This has been one of the worst projects and Boston Massachusetts fires drug crimes and things of that nature but for the future. OK I don't see this happening I can see that. The people working on the plan are going to realize that the point is or has been really valid and I would have to get another word organized. To correct some of the press some of the changes and things of that nature. There has been lack of security. Services for fire services and things of that nature but I think once it gets redevelop I think these things will change automatically.
I think that the pressure will come down to the Boston Police Department pressure will come on to the services of the Boston Fire Department and they would definitely show up in time of need. Yesterday going to feelings about where Columbia Point will be heading in the future and what its impact will have on the president people who are living there. What are you what are your expectations for the future and what do you see. Are you optimistic about a better life in Columbia Point. No I'm very optimistic. I just can't wait to get this thing off the ground. When I came it was in the early 60s. And I have seen Condi point Gaudin. To Nothing really. And the people have stuck in there. They are at tremendous amount of concern can
see a situation for. The needs of everyone. I think. For the first time in a long time even though we have this dispute with be ha there. We're going to stick in the air. And. We're going to go as they say go for broke. One way or another. We won't get when we point out that. We won't get it. If. We want it. Roger you're the chairperson and you're the leader selected by this group to speak as its chair. Where do you see the future for Columbia point in you optimistic to the resolution of these present problems and the development of cumbia point into a unified community that that's sort of. When I think ahead in the future.
Columbia Quarter residents begin to pull itself together. They have been beaten down for years. And you know they. Come to the point that. They're just not going to put up with this and we're going to get back up on their feet. They began to argue as they begin to support each other and this is what we need. All right and as wrong as we can do this we can make up your typical I'm your point and I'm going to thing that we begin to take into consideration that we're not just sitting over here. Let me point alone without pain in the same amount of taxes that any other citizen in Massachusetts pay you know whether you're making $200000 a year whether you already have or whatever the case may be. Anything you pay just too much tax on those items as anybody else. And from what we were sent to the power to be honest from the federal government right down to city government right down the line that you know after expenses you know we're not going to take this
anymore you know. Right and you know the first thing you know. What they want. To get the same thing here going your point you know I'm going to take the foolishness that we've been taking for years. And. We begin to put people say well it doesn't make a difference. Why should we have a couple of restoration drive you'll be surprised people is beginning to stand up and take notice and say yeah I'm ok is not going to do this to me I'm just satisfied that white is not just to me. We're going to start replacing our people that we have some political clout in this community. Well I know that my time is running short here. I can recall probably about eight months ago Bernie Sneed and myself sitting in this very room doing a show talking about Columbia Point at that time Bernie Sneed said there's a face to Columbia point that people don't know
and that people don't see. We spent a considerable amount of time talking about the other face of Columbia Point. Well I think that our show tonight in last week as well has shown to the listening audience that there are there is another face to Columbia Point in that everything that we read in the newspaper whether it's bad or whether it talks about crime or the difficulties that there are. On the other side of that coin people like Columbia point out are working hard trying to build a community and trying to address the real life situations of folks in the community. And I think that what I've heard tonight and I'm sure that what the people in the listening audience have heard tonight will clearly show them that their people are as you said Roger hanging in the air and in fighting to to make a reasonable life for themselves at Columbia Point. Before I close Bernie you have been conspicuously quiet here quiet here tonight and I know that you like to talk since we spent a lot of time in my office talking and I'm going to let you have the last word
here alone in this. Struggle here and I would like to say for the record. I feel as much as climbing a point in this row you know. That the university would always fall and. Over the years. Has made a commitment. To to climb your point. And if that means like you mean on on board to work with that community and provide the universe resources there and then that let everyone know. They are still paying me. They still allow me to work at the community. Idea price and what have you and if we have resources. That can be learned I do right now so I think it's important that they understand that university. Is an ally. To the community. In closing I would like to say again thank you to all that I guess starting again with Roger Taylor who was the chairperson of the Columbia Point task for us. Esther Santos
- Black Perspectives
- Columbia Point
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- WUMB (Boston, Massachusetts)
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- Part two of a discussion about the disagreement between the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) and tenants over choosing a developer to remake the Columbia Point public housing project into a mixed-income development. Host Charles Desmond talks with Columbia Point Task Force members Roger Taylor, chair; Esther Santos, secretary; Caleb Colon, member and Spanish Committee president; Greg Greiger, senior representative; Venetta Jones, administrative assistant; and Bernard Sneed, director of UMass/Boston's Columbia Point Field Office. Discussion topics drug abuse in the complex, lax management, the shoddy work done on apartments during a prior BHA renovation, the differences between the plans of CMJ, the task force's preferred developer, and BHA's preferred developer; concerns of Hispanic residents, and UMass/Boston's support for Columbia Point residents.
- Black Perspectives is a public affairs talk show featuring in depth conversations about issues of interest to the African American community.
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- Talk Show
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Copyright Holder: WUMB-FM
Guest: Taylor, Roger
Guest: Santos, Esther
Guest: Colon, Caleb
Guest: Greiger, Greg
Guest: Jones, Venetta
Guest: Sneed, Bernard
Host: Desmond, Charles
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Identifier: BP68-1983 (WUMB)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “Black Perspectives; Columbia Point,” 1983-06-28, WUMB, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 20, 2020, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-345-88qbzvh6.
- MLA: “Black Perspectives; Columbia Point.” 1983-06-28. WUMB, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 20, 2020. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-345-88qbzvh6>.
- APA: Black Perspectives; Columbia Point. Boston, MA: WUMB, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-345-88qbzvh6