Upham's Corner Online

Dorchester Bay Spearheads Celebration

Posted: Saturday, August 21, 2010

"Why did your organization want to hold this event?"  We were speaking with Dan Gelbtuch, a youth organizer for Dorchester Bay. 

"Dorchester Bay is strongly focused on tenants," he said, "tenant organizing and neighborhood safety.  There are three reasons why this event was important to us.
  1. Mr. Serrano was murdered in a building owned by Dorchester Bay so he is considered a tenant.
  2. Dorchester Bay maintains a close relationship with the building tenants, and they knew Mr. Serrano well.
  3. Dorchester Bay places a high emphasis on public safety.
Six months after the tragedy, it was time to reinforce the importance of tenant and community involvement. This, in the view of Dorchester Bay, is the only way to extirpate crime from a community.

The speed and accuracy of the information turned into the Boston police led to quick arrests and this is considered a success. Strategically, you cannot afford to waste your successes.

Geraldo Serrano deserved a public memorial. He deserved a permanent marker that cites him as a model in the community. It was also an opportunity for city officials to thank the community for its actions, it's expressed concerns and care and it's outspoken statements of love for the family.
Letters to the Editor

8/27/2010

Nancy,

That's great and the first time I hosted a formal event.  Thank you so much covering this event and featuring it in Uphams Corner Online.

Dychell Reeves
Under the tutelage and guidance of Dorchester Bay Dychell Reeves has taken on the role of tenant organizer. She frequently shopped at the store where Geraldo was shot. She knew him well and volunteered to serve as the host for the day’s events. Dychell Reeves

 Dychell was emotional, yet enthusiastic and well organized. Because of her deft manner, one speaker rolled quickly into another. Between speakers she offered words that bridged the topics, the time and the personalities. She later admitted that  this was her first time hosting an event.  She was nervous (she said) but stilled "pulled it off" beautifully.

What an incredible opportunity Dorchester Bay has provided for her -  both to serve as tenant organizer and as public speaker.
 
Jeanne DuBois has been the director of Dorchester Bay for 15 years. Dorchester Bay staff, she said, have always been technically astute. However they were missing that one capability that distinguishes and makes shine the truly effective community organization. That was the role of community organizer. Jeanne was hired specifically because that is her specialty.Jeanne DuBois

Jeanne talked about the power that lies at the grassroots level. "You will never eradicate crime from a neighborhood," she said," unless the residents come together cooperatively. They need to recognize their role in reclaiming the power vacuum that criminals so easily slip into.

"Often it takes a tragedy before a community group feels motivated enough to take action. Dorchester Bay holds so many tenant meetings every month I can’t attend them all.”
 
You can plant the seeds but if the ground is dry, full of weeds, caked or too acidic, nothing is going to grow (nothing good, that is). 

Dorchester Bay recognizes the need to provide opportunities for tenants to get to know each other. This leads to trust.

It would have been unthinkable to not have a block party following the public dedication of the plaque to Geraldo Serrano. You see, the block party is not only a fun activity with lots of good food, it is a conduit for bettering the community.
 

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