TLD Interview: GOLES Executive Director Damaris Reyes | The Lo-Down : News from the Lower East Side
Damaris Reyes, GOLES executive director Damaris Reyes is the executive director of Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), an influential neighborhood housing and preservation organization. Recently, we sat down with Reyes for a wide-ranging conversation on topics such as the gentrification of the LES, the redevelopment of the former SPURA site and youth violence. Reyes is the co-recipient of the 2009 Jane Jacobs Medal, awarded by the Rockefeller Foundation. In addition to her leadership of GOLES, she is a key member of a Community Board 3 committee drafting a plan for SPURA, the plots of land, mostly south of Delancey Street, that have remained underutilized for 40 years. TLD: Tell us how you became executive director of GOLES. Reyes: I live in the neighborhood. I was born and raised here. I think everybody knows that. I live in public housing. I kind of got introduced to organizing about 13 years ago when there were some efforts to privatize public housing. There were two different bills