East 8th Street, last Sunday afternoon.
A year ago this week, teenager Keith Salgado was shot and killed in a courtyard at Campos Plaza, the East 12th Street housing project. This past weekend, friends and family gathered in a community garden three blocks away from the crime scene to remember Keith and to urge other young people to steer clear of trouble.
At City Hall yesterday, City Council member Rosie Mendez, along with fellow lawmakers and public housing residents, blasted the New York Daily News for a series of articles critical of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).
In the past, many of those gathered before TV cameras and microphones have themselves been highly critical of NYCHA red tape and incompetence. But during the midday news conference, Mendez and others defended the agency, saying Chairman John Rhea had made major strides during his short tenure. They said there’s real concern that continued bad press will jeopardize federal funding for public housing, which has been decimated in the past decade.
Campos Plaza housing complex on East 12th Street.
Yesterday we were at the Campos Plaza Housing public housing complex, where elected officials announced the creation of an after-school recreational program. Community activists, who have repeatedly called for more programs aimed at keeping kids off the streets, were clearly pleased.
During a news conference, they also praised the police department for stepping up patrols in the aftermath of the murder of teenager Keith Salgado in the housing project’s courtyard back in October. “It’s sad to say it took a murder, but I’m glad there’s better security,” said Dereese Huff, Campos Plaza’s tenant association president.
For many years, residents have urged the New York City Housing Authority to install security cameras at Campos. In this year’s city budget, Councilmember Rosie Mendez allocated $400,000 for cameras at the development. Huff has said she’s convinced the cameras would be a strong deterrent to crime and drug dealing — and she’s expressed frustration that it’s taking so long to complete the project.