Sunday, September 13, 2009



"Over two years ago, my life was my own. My dog belonged to me only. I didn’t think of anyone or anything. My world was just me and Ringo.

Over two years ago, I walked the streets alone in peace and calm, in comfort and contentment. The world was just me and Ringo.

Ringo and I marched for peace alone. We begged for truth alone. We pleaded for justice alone. We felt that what we believed in didn’t really matter to anyone. We had seen mankind become intolerable and desensitized to being human. Many had become a product of trends and materialism that offered NO substantive gratification and only producing an endless need of want.

Then one day, in a split second, our lives were changed. The peace and calm, the comfort and contentment when we walked the streets, the unconscious connection that we felt in this community ALL that we never questioned and only enjoyed could be lost in a blink of an eye.

Developers discovered the hidden magic that surrounded us. Like greedy children, they wanted it all. Our communities, our neighborhoods that we love were now being inundated with the greed of want.

Developers started cashing in on the delicate balance of human-scale living, the unique and historic character that had provided comfort to many families of many generations, and the histories of many lives who built with pride a place they could call a home.

Ringo and I knew if we didn’t do anything, all would be gone. We knew then that we must act to protect and preserve what is priceless to us. So we sought and found people who were of like-mind. They opened our eyes and made us believe in hope once again. They were individuals who inspired and showed us the way to stand for what is right, what is truth and to do it with integrity and honesty. They were the grass root groups of CORD, SoBNA, FROGG, USBA, CGNA, Hoyt Street Alliance, Cobble Hill, and other community activists. They ALL stood as ONE to defend our neighborhoods from the greed of want. They tirelessly, selflessly, generously, and respectfully put forth the honest truth of the issues that concerned us. They fought for what was fair for the greater good with no financial gain or political aspiration.

However, politics became a need for us to be part of the current reality of today. Several individual members of the local grass root groups joined forces to find that someone who would understand our issues, who would stand with us and vote for the health, safety and preservation of our neighborhoods first and foremost.

Ringo and I were proud to be part of this newly formed team that had organized a “Dazzle Me” forum at the local library on the first warm and sunny day in April. All five democratic 39th District City Council candidates and one green party candidate sat in a small library auditorium and got grilled with tough questions that reflected our concerns happening in our neighborhoods. Several days afterward, we pulled each democratic candidate and interviewed them separately. Our choice after numerous meetings among our new group was JOSH SKALLER.

Josh speaks our language. He listens to us. He understands our causes. Among the five democratic candidates, JOSH SKALLER was the one we chose to represent us and our community needs. He is a true man of principle and belief in serving the people that put him in office. He is genuinely kind, highly intelligent, and is by far the most progressive candidate on the ballot.

If you have seen Ringo and I walk the street with petitions in hand and realized how the issues of our neighborhood do matter to us, if you have been stopped by us and listened, then please join us and vote for JOSH, this Tuesday. JOSH SKALLER is the ONE. GO VOTE. Tuesday, September 15, 2009."

Maryann and Ringo


With the "Protect Our Homes" petition, CORD was formed in May, 2007. This petition arose as an overwhelmingly negative response to the coming of the over-sized 360 Smith Street Development at the corner of Smith Street and Second Place (Aka Oliver House; aka 131 Second Place). This petition, which had well over three thousand signatures, led to a new zoning text amendment in summer of 2008.

To: Our Elected Officials, Community Leaders, The MTA:
(MAY, 2007)

We the undersigned Carroll Gardens homeowners and residents, are appalled by the "as of right" ruling which allows owners and developers to erect buildings in our neighborhood with no regard to the impact they will present to our quality of life and the value of our homes........