Walker-Santiago re-elected as CB 7 chair

Community Board 7 chairwoman Adaline Walker-Santiago will serve in the position for another term.

Walker-Santiago was re-elected at the Tuesday, June 20 full board meeting.

She first joined the board in 2010 and was first elected chair in 2013, and said she was proud of what the board had accomplished.

“I’m very proud of my board, they are the best,” she said. “There are very dedicated, strong, professional people on this board, and I’m looking forward to the fact that we are going to have a large number of new members coming in September.”

Walker-Santiago cited the recent groundbreaking for the renovation of Whelan Park near the Mosholu Library, the creation of a CB 7 veterans committee that holds an annual jobs fair at the Bronx Library Center and a Women’s Empowerment Conference they organized at Lehman College that she hopes will become an annual event among recent accomplishments.

The board was also credited with lobbying for the reopening the North Central Bronx Hospital’s labor and delivery unit with help from city council members, she said.

“We rallied at the hospital to get them back because it’s a very unique unit, which was just named one of the top baby-friendly units in the city,” she said.

The board chair said she was particularly proud of being the fifth best board in the city for addressing area concerns reported through the city’s 311 system in a timely manner. She also hoped to create a show for BronxNet to discuss issues important to board residents.

“We advocate for people, so when you have a concern in the community you should call us and take a picture and come talk to us, with potholes or anything” she said.

The chairwoman also pointed to the board’s popular annual bus tour, now in its fourth year, which is taped by BronxNet and highlights all the changes occurring in the area, including board projects.

Looking towards the coming months, Walker-Santiago said the board had several major projects in the works, such as working with the borough president and mayor to convert the shuttered Kingsbridge Armory into the Kingsbridge National Ice Center.

The project had been tied up in litigation for years but now seems likely to move forward after the mayor voiced support last month.

“They want to do a business incubator, they want things to empower our youth, it’s not just about skating – it’s about giving opportunities and a huge community space,” she said. “The plan is going to empower a lot of people in the community.”

The board is also currently requesting feedback for a rezoning plan the board funded to reduce the size of residential projects in Bedford Park and Kingsbridge Heights.

Walker-Santiago is also excited about the planned facilities to be built above the Croton Filtration Plant including a golf facility as well as an educational facility with an amphitheater.

“Young people will be able to play golf and learn about the wetlands – it’s going to be fantastic,” she said.

Reach Reporter Arthur Cusano at (718) 742–4584. E-mail him at acusano@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @arthurcusano.