FORMER PRESIDENT, BROOKLYN AVENUE BLOCK ASSOCIATION
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: College is often the starting point for many an activist’s careers in civic service and this was true for East Flatbush native Terrance Stroud, who started a chapter of the NAACP in 2000, during his time studying at Brooklyn College. The local branch of the national civil rights organization flourished under his leadership, winning national awards, and may soon be reactivated by current students, with his help.
Since then, Stroud, 38, has graduated from law school, led the Brooklyn Avenue Block Association, joined the Community Board 17 Land Use Committee to fight outsized development and promote downzoning, and joined political education nonprofit P2O, also known as Political Power Through Organizing.
“Our goal is to bring political power through education to our district,” explained Stroud of P2O’s efforts. “We put together forums about the political process and key pieces of legislation, such as the recycling bill and plastic bag charge, that affects the community, but no one knows about.”
MOTIVATION: The theme running through all of Stroud’s volunteer work is his desire “to encourage as much outreach and engagement in the community as possible. My mom is from Trinidad and she always instilled in me need to give back.”
CAREER: Stroud’s day job has ranged from working with the City Council, State Senate, NYC Media, and the city Department of Information Technology. He has worked for the past three years at the Department of Citywide Administrative Services.
“Civil service is definitely the best way to give back,” said Stroud. “We live in best city in the world, so we must give back no matter how small [the effort] towards helping the city run.”
BIGGEST OBSTACLE: During his tenure as Brooklyn Avenue Block Association president, “A lot of developers targeted our neighborhood and that was part of the reason I became active and joined the land use committee for CB 17,” said Stroud. “We had developers moving in, knocking down one to two-family homes and building multiple dwellings. So we were pushing for contextual downzoning.
“That was the biggest challenge: ensuring that the community can enjoy the neighborhoods they invested in and that the neighborhoods maintain the context and character they value,” he said.
In the end, though, the 2008 economic downturn put a halt to development, he said, “but in the process, we learned about the zoning process.”
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT: For all his civic and volunteer work, Stroud counts his greatest accomplishment as “being a wonderful husband and good father.”
PERSONAL LIFE: “I’m an only child and a proud father of two boys, Tyler and Dalen, with my lovely wife Dalia,” Stroud said. “I was born and raised on Brooklyn Avenue, went to Brooklyn Tech, Brooklyn College, then Indiana for law school before coming back. I love Brooklyn.”