I was raised by a single mom in Flatbush and Bedford-Stuyvesant sections of Brooklyn. Growing up in these thriving, diverse neighborhoods gave me a special appreciation for some of the facets that make cities tick. As a kid, I developed a special love for urban issues, including transportation, community development and education. For me, these weren’t abstract subjects to be studied in a classroom, but issues that impacted and intersected with my life on a daily basis.
I was blessed to have access to some of the finest secondary and higher education institutions in the Country, where I continued my studies of urban policy, politics and related issues.
My journey culminated at the age of 21, when two transformative things happened in my life; the first being my discovery of Jane Jacobs, the second was the purchase of my first real “for transportation” bicycle.
Jacobs’s Life and Death of Great American Cities gave me more nuanced appreciation for the interplay between the structures and forces at work in urban communities– and how they manifest into functional or dysfunctional cities. Riding a bike for the first time, in Boston, gave me a completely new appreciation for the organic and connected nature of neighborhoods and the larger city. Anyone who has ever ridden a bicycle in a city knows that it’s a wonderful and immersive perspective on the urban tapestry, one that is largely unavailable in motor vehicles and mass transit.
Oonee, Founder and CEO
I worked with a very talented streetscape designer to create a smart, scalable solution for bike and scooter parking in dense urban centers like New York, Boston and London. I’ve had 3 bikes either stolen or vandalized beyond salvaged over 5 years… so I’m passionate about solving this problem.
I was the Deputy Director of Operations for the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership until January 2017. My work there involved managing a portfolio of over 1.1 million square feet of public space in and around Downtown Brooklyn. I was in charge of installing, maintaining and analyzing information from Downtown Brooklyn’s pedestrian counting camera system. I also participated in or led several economic development grant initiatives, including a $150,000 New York State facade improvement program for businesses in Downtown Brooklyn.
Before that I was a Special Projects Consultant to the Urban Ambassadors Program at the New York City Department of Education. There, I wrote the curricular framework for a successful extra curricular program that targeted high-potential young men of color in New York’s public schools. I returned, after the program had launched, to help scale the pilot to a 2nd and 3rd cohort.
Proud alum of the following institutions:
- New York City Public Schools
- Prep for Prep
- St. Andrew’s School
- Tufts University
- Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs
Fun Fact #1
Unlike most of my American counterparts, I don’t have a drivers license and I never learned to drive a automobile. I’m currently 27 and the goal is to at least learn by the time I’m 30.
I’m a proud first generation Caribbean American. My mother hails from Barbados, and my dad hails from North Carolina.
Current Place of Residence
I currently live in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. One of the best places ever.