Upper East Side, NY - Five new active neighborhood leaders join Community Boards serving the Upper East Side after being nominated by Council Member Ben Kallos and appointed by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. Manhattan’s 12 community boards are local organizations each composed of 50 volunteer members serving staggered two-year terms. Community boards are tasked with being the independent and representative voices of their communities — the most grass-roots form of local government. The boards are pivotal in shaping their communities and work to enhance and preserve the character of the city’s many unique neighborhoods. Council Member Kallos’ 2020-2021 nominations, which were confirmed by Borough President Brewer’s appointments, were:
Saundrea I. Coleman was born and raised in the South Bronx. She has resided on the Upper East Side since 1992. She is a 2020 graduate of Nyack Alliance Theological Seminary, from which she obtained her Master of Divinity degree. Saundrea has a history of servitude: she is a licensed local preacher of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and she serves at Isabella Nursing Home in the Pastoral Services Department, to list a few. She is also medically retired from the NYPD, where she served as a payroll supervisor. As an activist and organizer in her community and beyond, she co-founded the Holmes-Isaacs Coalition to assist and educate NYCHA residents citywide. She co-hosts a television show titled “The Power Talk,” as well as her own gospel radio show. Saundrea is the mother of two adult sons, grandmother of two and is ready to diligently serve on Manhattan Community Board 8.
“It is a privilege and an honor to be appointed to serve on Manhattan CB8. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the board to make a difference in our communities and beyond,” said Saundrea Coleman.
Harrison Pierson-Panes is a lifelong Upper East Sider and a high school junior at The Beacon School in Midtown Manhattan. Enthralled with politics and public policy, he is honored to be serving his community and is dedicated to working tirelessly for the betterment of Community Board 8.
“The impact community boards have on the everyday lives of New Yorkers is profound and often goes unnoticed. With this appointment comes the incredible opportunity to work toward bettering our community and improving life for our neighbors. I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to work with my fellow board members in the coming year. Let’s get to work!,” said Harrison Pierson-Panes.
Felice Farber is a lifelong New Yorker and has been a Yorkville resident for over 20 years. As head of policy and legislative affairs for the General Contractors Association, she champions regional transportation and infrastructure issues that make New York a world-class city, while inspiring and mentoring women in those traditionally male-dominated fields.
“I love this community and thank Council Member Kallos and Borough President Brewer for the opportunity to work with the other members of Community Board 8 to improve our neighborhood and support its residents and businesses,” said Felice Farber.
In 1987, Rev. Michelle Wiltshire-Clement chose to move to East Harlem to be closer to Mount Sinai Hospital, where she worked as a Research Coordinator in Geriatrics. While being a wife and mother of two, she served at The Riverside Church of New York. She received her Master’s Degree from Union Theological Seminary.
“I am truly honored to be newly appointed to Community Board 11 in 2020! During these ever-changing times, I am passionate about social justice issues and policies especially those concerning our youth, safety, and environment. CB11 gives me a practical opportunity to serve and enhance the quality of life for both my family and our community,” said Rev. Wiltshire-Clement.
Charles A. Fernandez Jr. has lived on the Upper East Side his entire life. A retired security guard who has stood up to ultra-rich developers who tried to buy him out, offering him millions in order to build a 950-foot Tower in the Sutton area where he lives. Charles’ work with Council Member Kallos dates back to 2015, when he wrote letters to the Department of Buildings to bring attention to the abuses of developers. His vigilance and reporting won a stop- work order to protect residents in his building from construction that was slated to happen without a legally required tenant protection plan in place. For his hand in the community’s efforts to rezone the neighborhood, he was awarded a Citation by Council Member Kallos in January of 2017. Charles remains committed to fighting overdevelopment and protecting the area he has lived in for decades.
“I am eager to serve the Upper East Side as a member of Community Board 6. I am a lifelong resident of this community and have been fighting for it my whole life. Whether it is overdevelopment or keeping the neighborhood clean and safe, I cannot wait to help make a difference in my new capacity. Thank you to Council Member Kallos and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer for the appointment.” said Charles A. Fernandez Jr.
“It’s never been more important to get involved in local government and these new community board members understand that,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I commend Council Member Kallos for nominating these talented leaders and I am confident that these new members will use their voices to help their neighborhood, their borough and their city become a better place.”
“I am proud to nominate residents that have different areas of focus and expertise and that come from different walks of life to serve on our Community Boards. There are a myriad of complex issues before the board that we will need help with,” said Council Member Ben Kallos who previously served on Community Board 8. “Thank you to Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer for an open process that has encouraged hundreds to apply with an impressive group interview process as well as all the applicants and appointees for their service to the community.”