Scene from Fowler Square with statue and people sitting in chairs under umbrellas

The FAB Alliance Annual Meeting achieved a historic first on October 22, 2020, as it became the first virtual version of this yearly public assembly of the Board of Directors.

The 10:00 am meeting began with the approval of the minutes from last year’s gathering that was held in May 2019. FAB Executive Director Christina Chavez followed with a finance report review of the organization’s FY19 audited financials, FY20 expenses (unaudited) and the FY21 approved budget.

A complete copy of the FY19 Audited Financials is available upon request.

FY20 Expenses (unaudited): due to COVID-19, budgeted expense items that were to occur in FY20 were postponed or delayed until the next fiscal year. This allowed for a surplus of funds to roll over into FY21.

The FY21 Approved Budget was presented with a note that this will be modified to reflect the addition of New York City Council Discretionary Awards received through Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo.

Next, in the business portion of the BID meeting, an Election of Directors was held, for each class division, and it was later verified that each slate was elected unanimously. (Although the vote was held through the use of a polling feature on Zoom, vote tallying was conducted offline.) The classes presented are as follows:

Class A – Property Owners
2-year terms, ending 2022: Dale Charles (alternate: Bernell Grier), Max Nager, David Rivera, and Chris Sowers.
1-year terms, to fill vacancies, ending 2021: Hakam Abdelfattah, Amy Bennett, Jeremy Forman, and Ellen Lesynski.

Class B – Commercial Tenants
2-year terms, ending 2022: Jessica Bagnulo, Emily Hyland, Claudette Macey, Anthonie Marshall (alternate: Emmanuel Guerrero), Katrine Pollari, and Craig Samuel (alternate: Ben Grossman).
1-year term, to fill vacancy, ending 2021: Philip Onorato

Class C – Residential Tenants
2-year term, ending 2022: Caroline Beasley-Baker

Ms. Chavez then presented a report reflecting FAB FULTON activities and accomplishments over the last fiscal year (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020) in the corridor and in support of local small businesses.

After defining the geographic boundaries of the BID, the staff structure, and who we serve, Ms. Chavez highlighted the many functions of FAB FULTON, including:

  • Supporter and Advocate for Our Community
     — Marketing and Events
        * 26 free community events with 1,200+ attendees
        * 5,000 neighborhood guides distributed
        * free virtual programming
        * launched new website
        * 1,400+ new social media followers
        * 3,000+ business and community e-newsletter subscribers
        * 32 holiday lights installed
     — COVID-19 Response. Highlights include:
        * face mask and PPE distribution
        * publicizing the mutual aid efforts of FAB-area businesses
        * keeping the community informed of business closures, amended hours, and other changes during the pandemic
        * keeping businesses abreast of the latest COVID-19 guidelines for closures and how to safely reopen; and referrals for free legal and financial assistance
  • Streetscape Maintenance and Sanitation
    —  The Presence on Fulton Street
        * 7 days a week
        * 7,688 hours of street cleaning
        * 2,350 incidences of graffiti removed
        * 67,000 trash bags collected
        * caretaking for 4 public spaces
        * tree pit maintenance throughout the corridor
  • Partnerships and Resources
    — Calls to Action and Relationships to Get the Job Done
        * over a dozen sponsors and event partners
        * amplification of mandates and distribution of city informational materials

There was a lot of change over the last year. Ms. Chavez took a moment to recognize those local businesses (23) that were closed over the last 12 months, for a variety of reasons, from Clinton Hill over to Fort Greene. She also welcomed new ventures to the corridor, which total 18, as of October 2020.

Looking ahead, Ms. Chavez confirmed that as our FAB Fulton community navigates the challenges and impacts of COVID-19, we are dedicated more than ever to our core services for the district. We will be reaching out to all of our BID stakeholders to develop short-and long-term programs and initiatives for business support and district promotion; a continued focus on maintaining a safe and inviting Fulton Street; and advocate on your behalf for the resources and attention our district needs now and beyond COVID-19 recovery.

The floor was opened up to questions, and FAB FULTON staff and Board members fielded several questions regarding holiday lighting, business closures, financial expenditures, and class voting. The one-hour meeting was concluded at 11 am.