Guyanese-born lawyer and economist Victor Jordan, the first vice chair of Community Board 17 (CB 17) in East Flatbush and Flatbush in Brooklyn, says he’s officially entered the very crowded race for the 40th Council District seat in Brooklyn.
The district is currently represented by the term-limited, Haitian-born Councilman Dr. Mathieu Eugene, a candidate for Brooklyn Borough President.
“I am running for the NYC Council because I believe that I have the training, experience and commitment to the people in the district to do my very best to bring the desperately needed resources to the community,” Jordan, who is also an adjunct professor at Brooklyn College, told Caribbean Life, on Wednesday, June 2 in an exclusive interview.
Jordan said his professional career began in the 40th District as teacher, at Erasmus Hall High School, where he taught mathematics.
While teaching, Jordan said he attended graduate school in the evenings at the New School for Social Research, where he studied political economy.
“I felt that it was necessary to study economics to understand the economic system in which we live in and also to learn how to advocate for economic justice for the community,” Jordan said.
After his studies, Jordan said he was “lucky to work as a trade advisor to a minister of Trade and Industry in the West Indies.”
But, later, he said he discovered that having knowledge of economics was not enough, which propelled him to study law.
Jordan is a graduate of Albany Law School, passing the New York State Bar Examination in the year of his graduation, 1999.
“Given all this knowledge and experience in education, economics and law, I believe that I’m well prepared to represent the people that live in the 40th NYC Council District,” he said.
Currently, Jordan chairs CB 17’s Block Association Committee, working with presidents of the block associations in the district to help them to improve the quality of life on their individual blocks and also in their communities.
Under his leadership, Jordan said his Block Association Committee will this month host a health fair with the theme, “Eliminating Health Disparities”.
He said Community Board 17 is a “substantial portion of City Council District 40, and I am hoping that all my work at CB 17 will resonate with voters when they elect someone to represent them in the 40th City Council District.”
In previous administrations at the community board, Jordan said he served as chair of the Education Committee and the land Use Committee.
“It is known that middle schools are the prime recruiting ground for the gangs. Thus, as chair of the Education Committee, I started a series of Education Resource Fairs throughout middle schools in CB 17’s district, which were designed to present extracurricular activity options for youngsters,” he said.
“This was done as a means to keep middle school youngsters engaged, so that they wouldn’t be enticed to join gangs,” he added. “In this effort, we saved hundreds of youngsters from gang involvement and the ensuing crime that goes with gang involvement, which could also lead to an early death.”
As chair of the Land Use Committee, Jordan said he was charged with rezoning the entire district to prevent construction that would not be consistent with the two-family nature of the East Flatbush community.
After obtaining an expert from Pratt Institute of Architecture in Brooklyn and holding meetings with residents throughout the district, to solicit their input on how their district should be rezoned, Jordan said his committee drafted a plan for the rezoning of the district.
Subsequently, he said the committee presented the proposed rezoning plan to all elected officials in the district, who, he said, gave their written support of the rezoning plan.
Jordan said he was on the verge of presenting the plan to City Planning to conduct the required study, but, unfortunately, at that point, he was replaced as chair of the committee.
“Instead of ‘picking up the ball and running,’ my replacement did absolutely nothing for a whole year,” he claimed. “As a result of this failing, the opportunity to rezone the district was lost and resulted with helter-skelter or chaotic construction in East Flatbush/Flatbush.”
In the district, Jordan said he has a reputation for “getting things done, be it helping our children to succeed or working to maintain the special quality of our neighborhoods.
“Furthermore, I am known as someone who is fearless and committed to serving the community,” he said.
Until recently, Jordan said he was the team chief for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in CB 17.
Prior to that, he was the deputy team chief for the CERT team in CB 14, which is also a substantial portion of City Council District 40.
“I think that my long history of service and involvement in the district makes my chance of becoming the next council member for East Flatbush and Flatbush exceedingly good,” Jordan said.